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1

Industry as a partner for sustainable development
Iron and Steel

A report prepared by:
International Iron and Steel Institute
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Disclaimer
In a multi-stakeholder consultation facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme, a
number of groups (including representatives from non-governmental organisations, labour unions,
research institutes and national governments) provided comments on a preliminary draft of this
report prepared by the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI). The report was then revised,
benefiting from stakeholder perspectives and input. The views expressed in the report remain
those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Environment
Programme or the individuals and organisations that participated in the consultation.

2 Iron and Steel

Contents 3

Contents
5

Executive summary

9 Part I: Introduction
9
1.1 The world steel industry
10
1.2 Commitment to sustainable development
11
1.3 About this report
11
1.4 About IISI
13 Part 2: Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development
13
2.1 Social dimension
17
2.2 Economic dimension
21
2.3 Environmental dimension
41 Part 3: Means of implementation
41
3.1 Strategies
43
3.2 Measures
51 Part 4: Future challenges and goals
51
4.1 Priorities for improvement and future work programme
52 Annexe 1: IISI policy statement on environmental principles
54 Annexe 2: IISI policy statement on climate change
55 Annexe 3: IISI policy statement on Life Cycle Assessment

4 Contents

16
19
22
34
38
45
46
49
50

9
10
16
17
18
20
28
28
30
31
32
47

List of tables:
Table 1: Statistics for the city of Pohang, South Korea, from 1968 and 1999
Table 2: Major steel producing and consuming countries in million tonnes, 2000
Table 3: Benefits of breakthrough technologies in steel products
Table 4: Intake water requirements for a four million T/y crude steel integrated works
Table 5: Range of yields for processes and products
Table 6: LCI results of 1kg of hot rolled steel coil (global average)
Table 7: LCI results for 1kg of rebar/wire rod/engineering steel (global average)
Table 8: Apparent steel consumption per capita for selected countries
Table 9: Revenue and income for the top steel producing companies
List of figures:
Figure 1: Estimated value of selected materials in 2000
Figure 2: Steel shipments by market classification for North America in 1999
Figure 3: Employment in the steel industry, 1974 and 2000
Figure 4: Composite steel price in constant 1998 USD
Figure 5: World trade in steel as a percentage of world crude steel production
Figure 6: World crude steel production and apparent consumption, 1990 to 1999
Figure 7: Shaped steel beverage can
Figure 8: Mass of a 33cl steel beverage can
Figure 9: Process flow diagram for steel production using the blast furnace route
Figure 10: Process flow diagram for steel production using the electric arc furnace route
Figure 11: Share of the world crude steel production by process technology
Figure 12:Total recordable injuries for all American Iron and Steel Institute reporting
steel companies

Executive summary 5

Executive summary
The International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI)
prepared this report to communicate
sustainable development activities of the world
steel industry in preparation for the United
Nations World Summit on Sustainable
Development scheduled for Johannesburg,
South Africa.This report forms part of an
effort coordinated by the United Nations
Environment Programme, Department of
Technology, Industry, and Economics, to
contribute to the World Summit with a series
of sectoral reports whereby international
sectoral industry organisations take stock of
progress towards sustainable development and
outline future challenges. Additional and
updated information on sustainable
development in the world steel industry will
be available through the IISI Web site at
http://www.worldsteel.org.
Steel is a material used to build the
foundations of society. It is an iron-based
material containing low amounts of carbon
and alloying elements that can be made into
thousands of compositions with exacting
properties to meet a wide range of needs.
Steel is truly a versatile material.The value of
steel produced annually is easily over
USD200 billion.Thus steel finds its way into
the world economy.
Steel is an essential material for society and an
essential material for sustainable development
for people to satisfy their needs and
aspirations. Steel is a part of people’s everyday
lives, in both the developed and developing
world. It is used in providing transportation
such as automobiles and railroads, building
shelters from small housing to large multifamily dwellings, delivering energy such as
electricity and natural gas, producing food with
tools like tractors and hoes, supplying water
with pumps and pipelines, and enabling
healthcare with medical equipment.

Steel is produced worldwide. Over 96% of
world steel production in 2000 was produced
in 36 countries. China was the largest steel
producing country in 2000 with 127.2 million
tonnes.Two other nations produced over
100 million tonnes of steel in 2000 – Japan at
106.4 million tonnes and the United States at
101.5 million tonnes.Together, these three
nations account for almost 40% of world steel
production. If consideration is extended to the
top ten steel producing nations, just over 70%
of world steel production is accounted for.The
top 20 steel producing nations produced
almost 87% of the world’s steel in 2000.
While China is the world’s largest producer of
steel, it is also the world’s largest consumer of
steel with an apparent consumption of
141.2 million tonnes.The United States ranks
as the second largest consumer of steel at
115.0 million tonnes, followed by Japan at
76.1 million tonnes.The top ten nations
accounted for almost 69% of steel
consumption in 2000, while the top 20 nations
made up 83% of world steel consumption.
Looking at the trends in steel consumption,
China shows the greatest increase from 1990
to 2000 with in increase of almost 10%. Other
countries in Asia accounted for the second
largest increase with 5.7%, while the NAFTA
trading area demonstrated the third largest
increase with 4%.The greatest decrease in
steel consumption occurred in the former
USSR, registering a 14% decrease.

6 Executive summary

new methods of working.The result has been
a dramatic improvement in the performance
of steel products, and a related reduction in
energy use and consumption of raw materials
in their manufacture.

The world steel industry is characterised by
companies that traditionally formed to serve
local and national markets, giving rise to a
fragmented industry comprised of many
companies around the world.The top 20 steel
companies account for about 32% of world
steel production. In comparison, the top eight
vehicle manufacturers account for 67% of
world vehicle production while the top three
iron ore companies bring about 70% of world
iron ore production to market.
In 2002, steel companies are facing their most
severe economic challenge in recent history.
Earlier this year IISI issued a call for an
immediate start of inter-governmental
negotiations on steel. A positive response from
governments led to the convening of a high
level meeting of the OECD in September.
Governments from around the world met
again in December 2001 to report back on
the results of discussions that they have held
with their individual industries.
Steel industry leaders recognise that it is their
responsibility to improve the financial
performance of the industry by implementing
the changes in industry structure and behaviour
that are required.The now global nature of the
steel business requires further urgent and major
changes in the size and scope of individual steel
enterprises and they need clear support of
governments to move quickly in this direction.
The steel industry has engineered a revolution
in its performance over the last 20 years.
There has been massive investment in new
products, new plants and technology and in

Steel products are providing solutions to
sustainable development.The ULSAB-AVC
(UltraLight Steel AutoBody – Advanced Vehicle
Concepts) Programme is a design effort to
offer steel solutions to meet society’s demands
for a safe, affordable, environmentally
responsible range of vehicles for the 21st
century. ULSAB-AVC, the latest in a series of
environmentally-centred initiatives by an
international consortium of sheet steel
producers, promises that steel can be an
environmentally optimal and most affordable
material for future generations of vehicles.The
programme supports this offer by
demonstrating the application of new steels,
advanced manufacturing processes, and
innovative design concepts.
ULSAB-AVC will present advanced vehicle
concepts that help automakers use steel more
efficiently and provide a structural platform for
achieving:
• anticipated crash safety requirements for
2004;
• significantly improved fuel efficiency and
reduced climate change emissions;
• optimised environmental performance
regarding emissions, increased resource and
energy efficiency and recycling;
• high volume manufacturability at affordable
costs.
The steels used for construction have been
evolving ever since their initial development
in the late-1800s. A steady series of
improvements that both enhance and reduce
the cost of construction with steel has been
achieved. No one area of the world or
country is leading this development. It spans
from both mature and growing economies;
throughout the world, steel is a major

Executive summary 7

construction material. As we move into the
new millennium, the manufacturers of steels
for construction continue changing and
improving their products to meet the
demands for improved material properties.
Steel packaging is a good example of how
products can be designed to increase resource
and energy efficiency, and reduce their impact
on the environment, while delivering the
service demanded by society.The mass of a
33cl steel beverage can has decreased over
the years, resulting in a can about a quarter of
the mass it was 40 year ago.The decrease in
mass is enabled by new steelmaking and canmaking technologies and by the development
of advanced steels that can offer the strength
and formability required to make the
packaging lightweight.
Steel’s distinctive environmental fingerprint has
many advantages. More than half of the steel
we see around us has already been recycled
from scrap.This valuable material – from old
cars, buildings, and steel cans, for example – is
a powerful energy and resource saver. It takes
at least 60% less energy to produce steel from
scrap than it does from iron ore. Waste
disposal problems are lessened because used
steel can be recycled over and over.
Sooner or later, virtually all scrap gets back to
the steel mill. Steel’s established recycling loop
and the ease with which scrap is reclaimed
through steel’s natural magnetism helps today’s
designers make end-of-life recycling a vital part
of product planning. Steel beverage cans may
become new steel in a matter of weeks; cars
may take ten to 15 years; buildings and bridges
nearly a century. But sooner or later virtually
all scrap gets back to the steel mill.
Currently, there are two process routes that
dominate global steel manufacturing, although
variations and combinations of the two exist.
These are the ‘integrated’ and the ‘mini-mill’
routes.The key difference between the two is
the type of iron bearing feedstock they

consume. In an integrated works this is
predominantly iron ore, with a smaller quantity
of steel scrap, while a mini-mill produces steel
using mainly steel scrap, or increasingly, other
sources of metallic iron such as directly
reduced iron.
Increased energy and resource efficiency in
steel production will bring significant advances
in the sustainability of the steel industry.These
gains in efficiency result from achievements in
optimising current production methods and
through the introduction of new technologies.
In the recent IISI study Energy Use in the Steel
Industry, case histories of four steel product
facilities indicated reductions in energy
consumption which has been in the order of
25% since the mid-1970s.The report suggests
the future may bring energy consumption
figures of 12GJ/t of steel, a savings of about
60% from current values, though this is not
economically or technically feasible today.
Environmental issues are now so numerous,
complex, interconnected and continuously
evolving that an ad hoc approach to problem
solving is no longer considered effective. A
systematic approach to management is
required. A formal Environmental Management
System (EMS) provides a decision-making
structure and action programme to support
continuous improvements in environmental
performance.The ISO 14001 standard
provides a basis for steel companies to have
their EMS programmes certified.
The role of the EMS in the iron and steel
industry is becoming increasingly significant in
customer, supplier, public and regulatory
relationships, as the steel product reaches a
wider audience through a more informed
awareness. EMS, and especially the auditing
aspects, is a tool for the industry to control
and improve the implemented system, and is
widespread in the industry, with 80% of the
companies operating one.

8 Executive summary

Relevant measures of environmental
performance include energy efficiency,
resource efficiency, and releases to air, water,
and ground. It is in this regard that the world
steel industry has comprehensive worldwide
data in the form of a life cycle inventory (LCI)
study. LCI is a quantitative analysis of the inputs
(resources and energy) and outputs (products,
co-products, emissions) of a product system.

The world steel industry has made great
strides in sustainable development by providing
products and services valued by society,
increasing resource and energy efficiency,
reducing emissions to air, water and land,
adding economic value to the world economy,
providing safe and healthy work environments,
and being responsible participants in local
communities.

In 1995 IISI undertook the first worldwide LCI
study for the steel industry.This study included
a ‘cradle to gate’ analysis of steel production,
from the extraction of resources and use of
recycled materials through the production of
steel products at the steel works gate.

Improvement will come largely from the work
of the world’s steel companies and their
collaborative ventures within and external to
the industry. Accordingly, companies with
regard to their individual circumstances will set
priorities for improvement, and where
priorities coincide, with their partners and
stakeholders.

In 2002, IISI will complete its second
worldwide LCI study of steel products. Among
other uses, the results of this second study can
be benchmarked against the first study to
gauge changes in energy and resource
efficiency and releases to air, water, and
ground.
A measure of the impact of steel on the
world’s social condition is the apparent
consumption per capita.This statistic might be
considered one indication of a country’s
prosperity with the notion greater steel
consumption per capita is a sign of economic
prosperity.The world average for apparent
steel consumption per capita in 1999 was
138.2kg.
It can be noted, in general, the more
industrialised countries utilised between 250kg
and 600kg of steel per person. Countries with
developing economies consume less steel per
capita, with examples being China at
107kg/capita, Brazil at 99kg/capita and South
Africa with 81kg/capita. South Korea and
Taiwan, China topped the list, with South
Korea registering 757kg/capita while Taiwan,
China was at 1,109kg/capita.

Introduction 9

Part 1: Introduction
1.1 The world steel industry
Steel is a material used to build the
foundations of society. It is an iron-based
material containing low amounts of carbon
and alloying elements that can be made into
thousands of compositions with exacting
properties to meet a wide range of needs.
Steel is truly a versatile material.
Steel is produced in over 100 countries and its
modern age goes back to the 19th century.
Technological developments at that time
allowed for mass production of steel and
opened up new applications like railroads and
automobiles.The origins of steel date from
3,000 year ago.
An estimated value(1) of steel produced
worldwide in 2000 was in excess of USD200
billion. In figure 1, the value of steel and other

materials in common use is presented.
Although exact values of the materials
produced will change over time as production
and prices fluctuate, the relative magnitude of
the world’s steel output with relation to other
materials is apparent.
Steel is an essential material for society and an
essential material for sustainable development
for people to satisfy their needs and
aspirations. Steel is a part of people’s everyday
lives, in both the developed and developing
world. Steel is used in providing transportation
such as automobiles and railroads, building
shelters from small housing to large multifamily
dwellings, delivering energy such as electricity
and natural gas, producing food with tools like
tractors and hoes, supplying water with pumps
and pipelines, and enabling healthcare with
medical equipment.

Figure 1: Estimated value of selected materials in 2000
Estimated world value (USD billion)
Steel

212

Cement
Aluminium

110
35

Gold

29

Copper

26.7

Magnesium

1.3

(1) Estimated value calculated
as 2000 (primary and
secondary) production
multiplied by typical prices in
2000.

10 Introduction

Figure 2: Steel shipments by market classification for North America in 1999

Other
35%

Service
centres
26%
Machinery
2%
Automotive
16%

Containers
4%
Construction
17%

Source: AISI

Corus Group plc and the community
Corus Group plc manufactures, processes and distributes steel and aluminium products as well
as providing design, technology and consultancy services.
Corus a it is an integral part of the communities in which it operates.The company actively
participates in community initiatives and is committed to making a positive social contribution.
We place great emphasis on the contribution we make to a sustainable society and are
committed to incorporating the principles of sustainable development into all aspects of our
operations.

The breakdown of steel markets is
demonstrated in figure 2 with the example of
the North American situation in 1999.The
largest markets for steel products include
service centres, construction, automotive, and
containers. Service centres, intermediaries
between steel companies and finished product
producers, distributing and processing steel to
meet specific customer requirements, received
26% of shipments.The second-largest market
was construction at 17% followed by
automotive at 16%. Containers amounted to
4%, machinery 2%, and all other markets
accounted for 35%.

1.2 Commitment to
sustainable development
The world steel industry is committed to
sustainable development. On the world level,
the IISI board of directors agreed in 1992 to
apply the principles of sustainable
development to the steel industry.This
direction was reinforced in 2001 when the
board of directors agreed to make
sustainability one of five key activities for IISI.

Introduction 11

On the company level, most steel companies
have made a commitment to sustainable
development by integrating economic,
environmental and social aspects in decisionmaking, although a survey has not been
completed to gauge exact numbers. Indeed,
aspiring for good financial returns, protecting
the environment and responsibility to people
are becoming necessities, not an option, for a
successful business.

1.4 About IISI

1.3 About this report

IISI undertakes research into economic,
financial, technological, environmental and
promotional aspects of world steel and into
various raw materials and human resources
matters on behalf of its members. It also
collects, evaluates and disseminates world steel
statistics.

IISI prepared this report to communicate
sustainable development activities of the world
steel industry in preparation for the United
Nations World Summit on Sustainable
Development scheduled for 26 August to 4
September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This report forms part of an effort
coordinated by the United Nations
Environment Programme, Department of
Technology, Industry, and Economics, to
contribute to the World Summit with a series
of sectoral reports whereby international
sectoral industry organisations take stock of
progress towards sustainable development and
outline future challenges.
IISI is reviewing its sustainable development
programme and preparing for new activities.
The outcome of this review was not available
for publication in this report. Readers are
invited to visit the IISI Web site at
http://www.worldsteel.org to obtain
information on continuing sustainable
development activities in the world steel
industry.

Founded in 1967, IISI is a non-profit research
organisation whose members are steelproducing companies, national or regional steel
federations, and steel research organisations in
more than 55 countries.Together the
countries in which IISI steel producing member
companies are located account for over 76%
of total world steel production.

12 Iron and Steel

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 13

Part 2: Implementation of the three dimensions of
sustainable development
Steel is and will remain the most important
engineering and construction material in the
modern world. It is used in every aspect of
our lives and progress would be impossible
without it. Steel plays an essential role in
meeting the challenge of sustainable
development for the world in the 21st century
– improving economic and social welfare
without prejudicing the ability of future
generations to do the same.
The steel industry has engineered a revolution
in its performance over the last 20 years.
There has been massive investment in new
products, new plants and technology and in
new methods of working.The result has been
a dramatic improvement in the performance
of steel products, and a related reduction in
the energy and consumption of raw materials
in their manufacture.
Steel is fully recyclable. At the end of their
useful life, products containing steel can be
converted back into ‘new’ steel ready for other
applications. As a result, steel is one of the
world’s most recycled materials.
There are thousands of grades of steel. Recent
developments have enabled the steel industry’s
customers to improve their products through
better corrosion resistance, reduced weight

and improved energy performance.This
improvement is seen through a wide range of
products including passenger cars, packaging
and construction materials.
The production of steel involves the
production of valuable by-products. For
example, slags are processed into building
materials such as cement and aggregates
providing a contribution to the environment
by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and the
need for new raw materials.

2.1 Social dimension
2.1.1 Health and safety
Health and safety in the workplace is of the
highest priority to the world steel industry. In
1999, IISI published the report Accident-Free
Steel. A special working group set up by the
IISI Committee on Human Resources at the
request of the IISI board of directors prepared
this report. It contains advice and
recommendations on how to improve steel
plant safety based on the experience of senior
line managers and safety specialists from IISI
member companies around the world. It is
addressed to senior management, plant
managers, safety managers and other specialist
staff in steel companies.

Tata Steel combines census efforts with AIDS awareness
Tata Steel has found a novel way to combat the spread of AIDS in Jamshedpur (India) through
the dissemination of information pertaining to the prevention and spread of HIV/AIDS.
Over 340 employees including 200 teachers and staff of the Education Department began
census work on 15 May 2000. During census work they visited houses in Jamshedpur and
distributed 48,000 handbills to raise AIDS awareness.The handbills, developed by the AIDS Core
Committee,Tata Steel, bear information on AIDS prevention.
Tata Steel remains committed to extending its expertise and experience in encouraging such
efforts for the benefit of our community and the nation.

14 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Accident-Free Steel identified three components
as essential to progress steel plant safety:
1. the condition of the workplace
environment,
2. the training and competence of employees,
3. the motivation and behaviour of employees.
The report focuses on the third component.
The principal recommendations that appear in
the report relate to the elements that are
judged essential by all the members of the
working group.
1. Substantial commitment and leadership of
safety by management – with both hearts
and minds.
2. A change in the attitude and behaviour of
individuals and working groups with
respect to safety in all aspects of our
companies.
3. The elimination of a two-tier approach to
safety.
For the first element, this requires:
• a strong and visible commitment from the
very top of the company and
communicated to and shared by all levels
of management;
• setting examples, raising standards and
implementing them;
• a communication plan and a participatory
way of working, which will obtain the
commitment to safe working from the
maximum number of persons and will
confirm that this commitment is real;
• the recognition of best practice in safety
and the exchange of these ideas, both
within and between companies;
• an organisation’s structure appropriate to
the problems to be solved, well defined by
management and well understood by
everyone in the company;
• the setting of ambitious goals for the
improvement of safety and the

measurement of progress by the collection
of appropriate statistics.
For the second element, attention should be
focused on those factors that influence safety
behaviour:
• the mechanisms having an influence on
behaviour, the triggers that management
should develop and the consequences that
should be understood by all participants.
Management’s role is to assure the
adoption of those factors that can become
the base of further progress;
• The recognition that career development
depends on an individual’s safety
performance;
• putting into practice methods of
management that demonstrate that
attitude and behaviour to safety is an
essential part of the professionalism of
everyone, through training programmes,
individual interviews, career development,
etc;
• the acceptance by everyone of his/her
responsibility for their own safety and the
safety of others. We do not work alone,
but belong to a team.
The third element requires that external
contractors working on steel sites should
attain the same level of safety as our own
employees and use the same methods to
achieve this.

2.1.2 Community
Every steel company is a member of its
community.The involvement of steel
companies in their communities encompasses
activities such as payment of local taxes,
purchasing from local companies, charitable
donations, volunteer time, education, medical
care, recreation and activities, arts and
entertainment, and building of communities.
The world steel industry represents a range of
company commitment to the community,
including in some cases responsibility for all
aspects of community development.

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 15

Steel Authority of India (SAIL) socio-economic initiatives
Each plant and unit of SAIL has created around itself a developed community and is responsible
for its social welfare, that of the surrounding area, and the environment that it will bequeath to
the next generation.
Since the inception, the steel plants built houses, community centres, parks, schools and markets
for the employees, their families and others residing nearby. Modern amenities such as electricity,
water, sanitation, hospitals, shopping centres, and welfare facilities, comparable to those available
in a modern metropolis, were provided.
SAIL has continuously strived to provide the best of education facilities for the children and
wards of its employees. Over the years it has opened about 200 schools in the steel townships
that employ more than 6,000 teachers and provide modern education to about 122,000
children. Apart from managing its own schools, SAIL also supports other public schools, managed
independently, opened primarily to meet the growing demand.
In each of the integrated steel plants, the company manages large hospitals to provide free
medical treatment to the employees and their eligible dependants.There are 20 hospitals
situated throughout the country having a total of 4,500 beds for the benefit of employees, their
dependants and the peripheral population.
One example of a steel company with
considerable involvement in its community is
the Steel Authority of India (see box above).
This company, which is 86% owned by the
Government of India, takes responsibility for its
community such as the building of housing,
provision of hospitals, schools, and recreation
facilities.
Saldanha Steel, a South African steel company,
plays a role in developing and promoting the
culture of entrepreneurship and
competitiveness in the community it operates.
This initiative not only has a positive impact
on the region, but at the same time enhances
the company’s long-term efficiency. In addition,
the company has committed itself to
redressing past imbalances in society through
providing sound business opportunities to
previously disadvantaged businesses and
actively supporting and nurturing these
businesses.
In doing this, Saldanha Steel subscribes to
sound business principles. While the company
will ensure equal opportunity, participation and

local community commitment, it will not
compromise on price, quality and service.The
company strives to develop long-term,
mutually beneficial relationships with emerging
and established business.
To this end, a business development initiative
was established with the overriding objective to
create at least 20,000 jobs through outsourcing
and new business creation in the first ten years
of the plant’s existence. In 1997, Saldanha Steel
appointed a business development manager,
mandated to implement programmes to
achieve the company’s stated objectives. An
enterprise development specialist provides
added support.
The initiative aims to promote and support
the development of local (South African West
Coast) business, provide opportunities for
entrepreneurs, create jobs and facilitate
empowerment for members of the previously
disadvantaged communities in the region.
Another company, United States Steel
Corporation, through its United States Steel

16 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Table 1: Statistics for the city of Pohang, South Korea, from 1968 and 1999
Pohang statistic
Population
Housing supply
Households
Running water supply
Sewage supply

1968
72,000
55.7% (1975)
13,684
69%
33% (1975)

1999
514,000
84%
160,059
85.6%
63.5%

Source: City of Pohang

Foundation, a non-profit membership
corporation, provides support in a planned
and balanced manner for educational, scientific,
charitable, civic, cultural and health needs. Since
1953, the foundation has made grants totalling
more than $270 million.
In South Korea, at the time of POSCO’s
founding in April 1968, the port city of Pohang
had a population of around 72,000. Some
three decades later, it has emerged as a
strategic industrial centre in south-east Korea
with a population of over 510,000 serving the
auto, shipbuilding, and heavy industries in
Ulsan, the electronics industry in Kumi, the

machinery industry in Changwon, and the
major regional cities of Pusan and Taegu.
On 31 December 1972, POSCO relocated its
headquarters from Seoul to Pohang, a decision
that has significantly contributed to the
economic, social, cultural, educational, and
infrastructure development of that local
community over the years. A prime example
of this is the housing scheme. Since the launch
of construction of the Pohang Works, POSCO
built residential complexes covering over 198
hectares, helping the host city reach a supply
ratio of over 85%, a figure far higher than the
national average.

Figure 3: Employment in the steel industry, 1974 and 2000
1600

South Africa

1400
Brazil

1200

United Kingdom

1000
800
Japan

600
400
200

United States

0
1974

Source: IISI

1990

2000

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 17

2.1.3 Employment
One way the world steel industry contributes
to the well being of society is through
employment, both directly with steel
companies and indirectly with companies
providing goods and services to the industry.
Employment in the world steel industry has
seen significant change. Figure 3 provides an
example of the evolution of employment in
the steel industry for five countries; the United
States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil and
South Africa.The decrease in number of
people employed from 1974 to 2000 is 65%.
A key reason for lower employment levels
while production of steel continued to expand,
is finding more efficient ways to work, such as
the widespread adoption of new technologies
like continuous casting and computerised
process control.

2.2 Economic dimension
2.2.1 Prices and trade
Economic success of the steel industry is a
critical requirement for realising sustainable
development.The economic performance of
the industry today presents its greatest
challenge.
The steel industry is experiencing a worldwide
downturn in economic performance. Although
world steel production is at record levels, the
supply exceeds demand and steel prices are
down.
A direct consequence of oversupply is low
prices for steel products. Figure 4 shows the
composite steel price, in constant 1998 USD,
over time.This figure clearly demonstrates the
price of steel has been steadily diminishing, in
real terms, since the early-1980s and is at a
level last seen in the mid-1950s.

Figure 4: Composite steel price in constant 1998 USD
Steel price (USD/tonne)
1,200
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
1900 1907 1914 1921 1928 1935 1942 1949 1956 1963 1970 1984 1991 1998

Source: United States Geological Survey

(2) Based on 1999 figures
from IISI.
(3) Based on 2000 figures
from The International
Organisation of Motor Vehicle
Manufacturers
(4) Based on data from
National Australia Bank Iron
Ore Quarterly, July 2001.

18 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Steel companies have traditionally formed to
serve local and national markets, giving rise to
a fragmented industry comprised of many
companies around the world.The top 20 steel
companies account for about 32% of world
steel production.(2) In comparison, the top
eight vehicle manufacturers account for 67%
of world vehicle production(3) while the top
three iron ore companies bring about 70% of
world iron ore production to market.(4)

While the steel industry is fragmented, the
market for its products is increasingly
becoming global. As evidenced in figure 5, the
world trade in steel as a percentage of steel
production nearly doubled to 46% since 1980.

Figure 5:World trade in steel as a percentage of world crude steel production
World trade in steel
(% of crude steel production)
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
1980
Source: IISI

1982

1984

1986

1988

1990

1992

1994

1996

1998

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 19

Table 2: Major steel producing and consuming countries in million tonnes, 2000
Country
China
Japan
United States
Russia
Germany
South Korea
Ukraine
Brazil
India
Italy
France
Taiwan, China
Canada
Spain
Mexico
United Kingdom
Turkey
Belgium*
Poland
World

Steel production
127.2
106.4
101.5
59.1
46.4
43.1
31.4
27.9
26.9
26.7
21.0
16.7
16.6
15.8
15.7
15.2
14.3
11.6
10.5
847.2

Apparent steel consumption
141.2
76.1
115.0
23.0
36.9
38.5
9.7
15.8
26.9
30.9
17.6
21.1
17.5
17.5
14.4
13.1
12.4
4.2
7.5
768.

* Consumption includes Luxembourg
Source: IISI

2.2.2 Global view of steel production
and consumption
Steel is produced Worldwide in the majority
of the world’s nations, although over 96% of
world steel production in 2000 was produced
in 36 countries. From table 2 it can be seen
that China was the largest steel producing
country in 2000 with 127.2 million tonnes.Two
other nations produced over 100 million
tonnes of steel in 2000, those being Japan at
106.4 million tonnes and the United States at
101.5 million tonnes.Together, these three
nations account for almost 40% of world steel
production. If consideration is extended to the
top ten steel producing nations, just over 70%
of world steel production is accounted for.The
top 20 steel producing nations produced
almost 87% of the world’s steel in 2000.

While China is the world’s largest producer of
steel, it is also the world’s largest consumer of
steel with an apparent consumption of
141.2 million tonnes.The United States ranks
as the second largest consumer of steel at
115.0 million tonnes, followed by Japan at
76.1 million tonnes.The top ten nations
accounted for almost 69% of steel
consumption in 2000 while the top 20 nations
made up 83% of world steel consumption.
The world production of crude steel and
apparent consumption of crude steel is
presented in figure 6 (see page 20).

20 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Figure 6:World crude steel production and apparent consumption
1990 to 1999
Crude Steel Quantity
(million tonnes)
820

Production

800
780

Consumption

760
740
720
700
680
660
640
1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Source: IISI

2.2.3 Restructuring of steel companies
Three noticeable trends are happening within
the world steel industry with respect to steel
companies.The first is consolidation, the
second is de-mergers, and the third is
bankruptcy.
Europe leads the way in consolidating the
world steel industry.The world’s largest steel
company will emerge from the consolidation
of Luxembourg’s Arbed, France’s Usinor, and
Spain’s Aceralia into a new company called
Arcelor. Arcelor will produce some 50 million
tonnes of steel per year and have 110,000
employees. Arcelor will be almost double the
size, in terms of steel produced, of its nearest
competitors, Nippon Steel and POSCO.
In Japan, NKK Corporation and Kawasaki Steel
Corporation announced they will merge, first
to be joined under a holding company in 2002
and then as a fully integrated business segment
of JFE Holding in 2003.The combined crude
steel production of these two companies will
be about 30 million tonnes per year.

The LMN Group, the world’s fourth-largest
steelmaker in 2000, worked over the last
decade to establish a global network of
steelmaking facilities. Notable acquisitions
include Inland Steel Company of the United
States, Unimetal Group of France, steel
production facilities obtained from Thyssen,
and the assets of a large steel plant in
Kazakhstan.
This consolidation follows recent mergers of
British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens to form
Corus Group plc and the German merger of
Thyssen and Fried. Krupp Hoesch-Krupp to
form ThyssenKrupp AG. Further consolidation
discussions have been made public, notably in
the United States and Japan, and it would not
be unexpected if the future should bring
further mergers of steel companies.
Notable de-mergers that have recently been
completed or are about to be completed are
occurring around the world. In the United
States, United States Steel and Marathon Oil
were under the umbrella of USX. Since the

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 21

start of 2002, the companies were completely
separated with the steel company taking the
name United States Steel Corporation and
now acting on its own. In South Africa, Iscor
was unbundled into two entities, one being
steel and retaining the name Iscor Limited,
while the mining assets became Kumba
Resources. In Australia, BHP Billiton is
separating its steel company, BHP Steel, from
its remaining resource ventures.
With regard to bankruptcy, in the United
States alone, according to the United
Steelworkers of America, 29 steel companies
with 63,000 employees filed for bankruptcy
protection and 11 companies have ceased
operations. Among the casualties are the third
and fourth largest steel producers in the
United States, Bethlehem Steel and LTV Steel.
In Canada, the nation’s third-largest integrated
steel company, Algoma Steel, is also in
bankruptcy protection and seeking to
reorganise.

2.3 Environmental dimension
2.3.1 Steel products

2.3.1.1 Automotive
The ULSAB-AVC (UltraLight Steel AutoBody
– Advanced Vehicle Concepts) Programme is a
design effort to offer steel solutions to meet
society’s demands for a safe, affordable,
environmentally responsible range of vehicles
for the 21st century. ULSAB-AVC, the latest in
a series of environmentally-centred initiatives
by an international consortium of sheet steel
producers, offers the promise that steel can be
the most environmentally optimal and

affordable material for future generations of
vehicles.The programme supports this offer by
demonstrating the application of new steels,
advanced manufacturing processes, and
innovative design concepts.
ULSAB-AVC also provides a steel-based
comparison vehicle to dispel the
misunderstanding that only more costly, less
manufacturable alternative materials can
provide the attributes necessary to attain fuel
efficiency goals.
ULSAB-AVC takes a holistic approach to the
development of a new advanced steel
automotive vehicle architecture.The scope of
the programme goes beyond the body
structure to include closures, suspensions,
engine cradle and all structural and safety
relevant components.
ULSAB-AVC presents advanced vehicle
concepts that help automakers use steel more
efficiently and provide a structural platform for
achieving:
• anticipated crash safety requirements for
2004;
• significantly improved fuel efficiency;
• optimised environmental performance
regarding emissions, source reduction and
recycling;
• high volume manufacturability at affordable
costs.
The programme commenced in January 1999
with a comprehensive benchmarking of existing
vehicle concepts and an investigation of vehicle
trends.Targets have been set with reference to
the United States government’s environmental
programme, Partnership for a New Generation
of Vehicles (PNGV) and the EU initiative,
EUCAR, a stringent CO2 reduction programme.
The consortium commissioned Porsche
Engineering Services (PES) of Troy, Michigan,
United States, to undertake the programme.
PES will integrate automotive industry

22 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Table 3: Benefits of breakthrough technologies in steel products
Breakthrough
High strength steels
Ultra-clean steels
(interstitial free)
Bake hardening steels
Advanced coated steels

Benefit
Lighter, safer, less thirsty cars from thinner, much tougher steels.
More luxurious, better styled cars due to easier forming of complex
parts.
Self-strengthening steels provide greater safety at less cost.
Improved corrosion resistance for longer lasting cars.

Source: ULSAB-AVC Consortium

feedback and knowledge it acquired in the
development of the UltraLight Steel Auto
Body (ULSAB) into this new initiative.
The elusive mix of lightness and strength
which only modern steel can provide is vital
for the driving machine of the future. Entire
automobile side panels are now being made in
one operation by pre-welding sheets with
high-speed lasers prior to forming. By fusing
together steels of different thicknesses and
qualities, designers can distribute the metal
optimally in the body components without
sacrificing security levels.
What is the steel autobody?
The steel autobody is a carefully designed
synthesis of components, each tailored to
perform a specific function. It provides
strength, rigidity, and structural integrity. It
ensures passenger security in case of impact.
At the same time, it protects the vehicle
against the elements and satisfies increasing
demands for aesthetics and durability.
More than half the steels used in cars today
were not available a decade ago.
What do new steels mean to the car buyer?
New high strength steels, two or three times
stronger than their predecessors, mean lighter,
more fuel-efficient vehicles. Revolutionary
ultra-clean steels that can be shaped more
easily are meeting car buyers’ demands for
increased styling and variety.

Some of the newest steels offer driver and
passengers greater protection through their
built-in capacity to change properties during
processing in the automobile plant. Such steels
can be easily formed into the complex parts
of the car body.They then undergo a process
of self-strengthening which is completed under
the heat of the automotive paint line,
increasing the strength and dent resistance of
the car body by as much as 30%.
How is the autobody is made?
Forming (stamping) the various parts of the car
body in high speed automated presses.
Modern versatile steels enable today’s fully
automated presses to produce up to 15,000
major car body components a day. Outputs of
20,000 are projected. Advanced computer
design and analysis make possible lower cost
cars by reducing the number of body
components and decreasing the need for
expensive stamping equipment.
Assembling the body parts by advanced welding
and bonding.
Using steel’s intrinsic electrical properties,
modern welding technology fuses automotive
components together at rates of seven million
spot-welds a day. Lighter, faster robots able to
monitor weld quality will increase speed by as
much as 30%.
Painting or applying the complex coating systems
that provide beautiful and long lasting finishes.
The finishes on steel body components are
complex systems carefully engineered to
provide both beauty and protection. At their
base are highly efficient galvanised coatings

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 23

with an unusual ability both to create a barrier
against corrosive elements and to neutralise
them in case of damage.
The steel autobody: why is it safe?
The designer’s concept for each new car
model starts with the security cell surrounding
the driver and passengers. Occupants are
better protected because the carefully
engineered safety compartment in new high
strength steels is structured to prevent
penetration from other parts of the car.
Outside the safety cell, the front and rear are
designed with built-in crumple zones. On
impact, they collapse successively in controlled
accordion folds so that energy is absorbed
gradually into the whole structure.
Steel’s reliability and the vast database that
exists on steel properties make it possible to
optimise carbody safety design by simulating
impact behaviour on the computer.This way
designers can meet carmaker’s rigorous
performance objectives without lengthy
experimentation. Crash management concepts
based on steel are proven by long experience
– which means added reliability, extra security.
Steel’s inherent safety
Steel inherently provides a vital security margin
in case of collision because of its remarkable
ability to deform and harden simultaneously.

3

2

increases without the risk of breakage often
associated with other materials.
The steel autobody: why does it last longer?
Steel naturally is:



non-flammable,
unaffected by ultraviolet radiation,
not structurally destabilised by humidity,
dimensionally stable in heat and cold.

Today’s corrosion resistant steels are
customised to provide one and two-sided
protection and to meet different requirements
for the surface and underside of the car body.
Advanced multi-layer coating systems with a
sophisticated outer barrier provide quality
finish and a sacrificial undercoating for backup
protection.These enable carmakers to customdesign protection and to provide guarantees
up to ten years against major types of
corrosion.
Anatomy of a modern coating system:
1. metallic undercoating,
2. steel base,
3. adhesion zone: improved interaction and
diffusion of iron atoms into coating,
4. alloy coating for barrier and sacrificial
protection,
5. metallic barrier coating,
6. organic coating for additional protection,
7. primer and paint layers.

1

outer
The collision forces collapse and then
strengthen the impact area: (1) causing the
process to be repeated at an adjacent
location. (2) The process is repeated over and
over, (3) resulting in a progressive collapse of
the component and a steady absorption of
large amounts of impact energy. At higher
impact velocities, the strength of steel

7
5
3

6
4

stee
2
1

side

l

24 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

The steel autobody: why is it beautiful?
The mirror finish of today’s cars starts before
the autobody sheets leave the steel plant. High
precision finishing techniques emboss
microscopic peaks and valleys on the steel
surface. Laser and electro-discharge
technologies set the height and frequency of
these contours so that the highly efficient
painting systems produce a surface with
undistorted image reflection.
The steel autobody: why is it recycled?
Of the 600 materials that make up the
modern automobile, steel is the easiest to
recycle.The potential savings in terms of the
earth’s finite resources are important when we
remember that 55% to 65% of each car is
steel. Recycling the steel from a car is
straightforward. Once the car is gutted and
drained of fluids, the carcass is shredded and
the steel is extracted by magnetic separation.
Many of the remaining materials are not as
readily recyclable and end up in increasingly
scarce landfills or require incineration.
The steel autobody: how is it recycled?
More than 26 million cars will be scrapped in
the United States, Japan and western Europe
in the year 2000 – almost double the number
disposed of in 1980. Ninety-five per cent of
the steel used in today’s cars is recycled
routinely.The materials which designers use in
cars today will directly reflect their recyclability
after the year 2000.

1980
14,530,900

1990
21,348,500

2000
26,366,900

2.3.1.2 Construction
Most of the wealth of mankind resides in the
constructed environment – and most of the
world’s output of steel is directed to the
construction market.This will not change, even
if segments of the world suffer regional and
temporary downturns, for construction is tied
directly to population growth, to the need for
transportation and infrastructure and to the
basic need of maintaining and elevating
worldwide standards of living.
The steels used for construction have been
evolving ever since their initial development in
the late-1800s. Continuous improvement in
both enhancing and reducing the cost of
construction with steel has been achieved. No
one area of the world or country is leading
this development. It spans both mature and
growing economies; throughout the world
steel is a major construction material.
One way of identifying these evolutionary
changes is to cite some of the construction
issues that have been in some way mitigated
by new steel developments.Today’s
construction steels meet stringent
requirements for corrosion resistance, high
performance and fire protection.

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 25

As we move into the next millennium the
manufacturers of steels for construction
continue changing and improving their
products to meet the demands for improved
material properties. Furthermore, parallel to
the changes being made to steels, many
construction materials are increasingly being
used in conjunction with one another so as to
economically maximise the synergy of each
material’s assets. Steel is interwoven
throughout all these concepts, for steel is the
material that gives most other construction
materials their strength and ductility, be it for
the steels that reinforce concrete or the steels
that fasten wood.
Corrosion resistance
Long considered a serious drawback for steels,
corrosion not only reduces steel through loss
of material, but is often unaesthetic. However,
much has been done to improve steel’s
corrosion resistance and, in at least one
application, to promote the process of surface
corrosion.
Rust can be good for steel!
Known worldwide as weathering steel, this
development evolved from a 1933 discovery
that steel made from a copper-bearing ore
had greater than expected corrosion
resistance. In most climatic conditions, the
various modern grades of weathering steel
develop an adherent layer of corrosion that
serves as a partial barrier to further corrosion.
Once this occurs, and if the adherence
prevents flaking of the corrosion layer, the
corrosion process proceeds at a rate that is
not structurally detrimental to the capacity of
the structure.
First used for railroad cars carrying coal, and
now widely applied for fabrication of
cargo/freight containers, the evolutionary
versions of steel today are important to the
unique application of bridge construction.
Maintaining paint on a bridge is costly and,
over its lifespan, may well cost far more than
the original bridge. Use of weathering steels

provides a cost-effective solution; first by the
initial savings in paint and, secondly, by the
material and environmental savings of not
having to repaint a difficult structure.
The use of weathering steels has grown in
recent years and will continue to grow in the
future. Recent developments have increased
levels of strength and facilitated welding
processes. It is anticipated that increasing
worldwide environmental restrictions of the
removal and replacement of paint will further
boost the market for these steels in both
bridge and building applications.
Resistance to corrosion is also addressed by
other developments, principally protective
corrosion-resistant barriers. Zinc, tin, lead,
chromium and aluminium have served this
function for years, but new developments have
enhanced their effectiveness. One such
improvement has been the addition of various
quantities of aluminium to zinc for hot-dipped
coatings, creating a product that is a synergistic
improvement – the resulting corrosion
resistance, for the same thickness of coating, is
better than the sum of both protective
materials.
Developments in this field, in which other
metallic barrier materials are being studied,
continue worldwide.The extended life of
automobiles, appliances and other capital
goods will depend even more on improved
corrosion resistance as the tendency toward
higher strength, lighter and thinner steels
continues.
Paint, both organic and inorganic, is another
version of the corrosion-resistant barrier.
These products have also undergone major
improvements in recent years. One of the
more significant is when paint, in multiple coats
from primer to topcoat, is applied under
controlled conditions to steel in coil form.
These paint systems, which then have the
adhesion and ductility needed for being
formed into final products, provide a high

26 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

quality finished surface that eliminates the
environmental and workplace hazards of postfabrication spraying or dipping.
Use of these products will continue to rise,
not only because of the better quality of the
coated surface, but because environmental
restrictions will favour the application of paint
in a totally controlled environment.
When an even more durable surface
treatment is needed, an alternative to a hotdipped coating is a heat-cured epoxy coating.
Today, worldwide, this product is usually the
material specified for environments typified by
marine, bridge and highway applications where
salt corrosion is anticipated. Its use is growing,
particularly to extend the life of concrete in
bridge surfaces.
High performance steels
One of the more recent developments of new
constructional steels is a grouping of
developments given the broad term high
performance. High performance does not
necessarily mean higher strength, but rather
the improved performance of a number of
interrelated variables.
For example, welding is used in most
construction fabrication.This can be expensive,
not just for the process, but also for the
precautions that have to be taken for thick
sections and adverse site conditions. Many of
the newer construction steels ease the need
for these precautions by making it possible to
produce high quality welds faster with less
effort, with less consideration for pre-heat and
post-heat and with less concern about internal
cracking.
Ductility is a characteristic that permits steel
to elongate without fracture, highly desirable
for the process of forming cold steel into
shapes and for steel structures that have to
resist earthquakes. Special ductile steels have
been developed in Japan for earthquakeresistant building construction. In

Luxembourg, steel profiles have been
developed for their high degree of ductility,
for use in the cold conditions of arctic and
offshore construction.
Strength, however, remains one of the key
characteristics of high performance steels.
Within certain structural limits of defection,
increased strength equates to reduced steel
quantities, which in turn may lead to reduced
construction cost.
The new high performance steels exhibit a
collective mix of improved characteristics that
more than compensate for their higher specific
cost.They offer opportunities to reduce the
finished-project cost by lowering fabrication
cost and, by reducing material weight, the costs
of shipping and erection, with an end result of
improved performance and thereby improved
value.
Much of the early research in these products
was done for military applications where
combinations of reduced weight, higher
strength and easier fabrication were more
critical than cost. Adapting this technology to
construction applications, along with
appropriate and essential reductions in
material costs, continues to stimulate further
development of new steels.
Fire protection
Since steel was first used as a structural
framing material, most regulatory standards
have required that it be protected from hightemperature fire.Two options have been
commonly used; either thermal insulation to
separate the steel from fire or water sprinklers
to put the fire out or cool the steel. For nearly
a century the standards for fire protection
have been based either on tradition or tests in
specialised furnaces, practices that often
resulted in immoderate protection
requirements. As more and more of the
world’s population moves to ever-expanding
urban areas, developers are exploring new
avenues for protecting structures and their

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 27

occupants, finding new ways to make the fire
protection of steel more effective and
economical.
The first of these is the transition from
expensive real-life testing, to quicker and less
expensive calculations using sophisticated
computer models. Gradually, as calculation
methods are being refined and regulatory
authorities become confident in applying them,
savings in steel protection can be realised in
many ways. More realistic evaluation of fire
conditions results in more precise application
of protection, allowing for the elimination of
excessive protection.
For structures such as those that use an
exposed frame as an architectural feature,
thermal insulation can be replaced with liquid
filling of tubular members. If the members are
hydraulically connected and the heated liquid
is free to move, the steel frame is able to
dissipate its thermal load through convective
transfer to other, non-heated segments of the
frame.
In another development, a Japanese steel
producer has adapted technology developed
for steels used in elevated temperature
applications to the steels used for building
frames; constructional steels have been
developed which have superior residual
strength characteristics at temperatures above
500°C. While not eliminating the need for fire
protection, the special steels for this
application require less protection than steels
traditionally used.
The total cost of a completed structural frame
includes the cost of the steel components, of
fabrication, shipping and erection, plus the cost
of fire protection. Studies in the United
Kingdom have shown that for those cases
where fire protection is a significant part of
the total cost, it is possible to economically
replace protection with additional steel.The
concept is that a heavier, structurally overdesigned frame can tolerate higher

temperatures. In addition, because of their
larger size, heavier frame members heat up
less quickly in a fire.The end result is the
calculation of cost trade-offs in which more
steel may be the route to more economical
protection.
To advance the consideration of sustainable
development in construction, in May 2002,
Luxembourg will host the IISI World
Conference 2002 – Steel in Sustainable
Construction.This conference, which builds
upon the success of the ‘Steel in Green Building
Construction Conference’ held in Orlando in
1998, will focus on:
• what sustainable development means for
the construction industry,
• raising awareness about sustainable
construction and its business benefits,
• how steel construction solutions can
contribute to more sustainable
development.

28 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

The conference will attract an audience of
hundreds of construction professionals,
including architects, builders, engineers, and
fabricators, to further the cause of
implementing the principles of sustainable
development in the construction sector.The
reader is invited to find more information on
the conference Web site at
http://www.sustainblesteel.com.

Figure 7: Shaped steel beverage can

2.3.1.3 Packaging
Steel is one of the leading materials used for
attractive, convenient and cost-effective
packaging today. Because they are strong,
lightweight, versatile and recyclable, packaging
steels are ideal for a wide variety of food,
beverage and other packaging applications. In
addition, these steels are used in numerous
other items ranging from cookware to
automotive components to paper clips.
Steel packaging is a good example of how
products can be designed to increase resource
and energy efficiency, and reduce their impact
on the environment, while delivering the
service demanded by society. Figure 8
demonstrates how the mass of a 33cl steel

Source: APEAL
beverage can has decreased over the years,
resulting in a can about a quarter of the mass
it was 40 year ago.The decrease in mass is
enabled by new steelmaking and can-making
technologies and by the development of
advanced steels that can offer the strength and
formability required to make the packaging
lightweight.

Figure 8: Mass of a 33cl steel beverage can
Mass of a 33cl steel beverage can (g/can)
100
80
60
40
20
0
1951

Source: APEAL

1956

1967

1972

1975

1985

1987

1992

1996

2000

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 29

The resulting gain in resource and energy
efficiency can be seen in the fact it took
38,000 tonnes of tinplated steel to produce
one billion cans in 1983. In 2003, it is expected
that only 25,600 tonnes of tinplated steel will
be needed to produce one billion cans.

2.3.2 Steel manufacturing
2.3.2.1 Process description
Currently, there are two process routes that
dominate global steel manufacturing, although
variations and combinations of the two exist.
These are the ‘integrated’ and the ‘mini-mill’
routes.The key difference between the two is
the type of iron bearing feedstock they
consume. In an integrated works this is
predominantly iron ore, with a smaller quantity
of steel scrap, while a mini-mill produces steel
using mainly steel scrap, or increasingly, other
sources of metallic iron such as directly
reduced iron.
The integrated steelmaker must first make iron
and, subsequently, convert this iron to steel.
Raw materials for the process include iron ore,
coal, limestone, steel scrap, energy and a wide
range of other materials in variable quantities
such as oil, air, chemicals, refractories, alloys,
and water. As the process flowsheet in figure 9
shows (page 30), iron from the blast furnace is
converted to steel in the Basic Oxygen
Furnace (BOF) and, after casting and
solidification, is formed into coil, plate, sections
or bars in dedicated rolling mills.The
integrated steelmaking route accounts for
about 60% of world steel production.

Steel is made in an electric arc furnace (EAF)
works by melting recycled scrap in an EAF and
adjusting the chemical composition of the
metal by adding alloying elements, usually in a
lower powered ladle furnace (LF).The process
flow sheet shown in figure 10 (page 31)
indicates that the ironmaking processes,
operated on the integrated plant, are not
required. Most of the energy for melting
comes from electricity, although there is an
increasing tendency to replace or supplement
electrical energy with oxygen, coal and other
fossil fuels injected directly in the EAF.
In addition to steel scrap, metallic substitutes
such as direct reduced iron (DRI) are
becoming increasingly important where scrap
availability is limited, where the impurity
content of scrap is high or where a localised
raw material resource is available. Downstream
process stages, such as casting and reheating
and rolling, are similar to those found in the
integrated route.
A third steelmaking technology, open hearth
furnace steelmaking (OHF), remains in use for
about 4% of world crude steel production
(figure 11, page 32). Countries where open
hearth steelmaking is still employed, based on
2000 data, include Russia, Ukraine, BosniaHerzegovina, Czech Republic, Poland,
Uzbekistan, Latvia, China, India and Turkey.

30 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Figure 9: Process flow diagram for steel production
using the blast furnace route

Coke making
Pelletising
Sintering

BF iron making

Steel recycling

BOF steelmaking

Ladle metallurgy

Continuous casting

Section rolling

Ingot casting

Rod and bar rolling

Hot rolling

Plate rolling

Pickling

Pipe/tube making

Cold rolling

Tempering and
annealing

Organic coating

Hot dip galvanising

Chrome plating

Electogalvanising

Tin plating

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 31

Figure 10: Process flow diagram for steel production using
the electric arc furnace (EAF) route

Steel recycling

Scrap preparation

EAF steelmaking

Ladle metallurgy

Thin slab casting

Continuous casting

Hot rolling

Ingot casting

Roughing mill

Pickling

Cold rolling

Tempering and
annealing

Hot dip galvanising

Section rolling

Rod and bar rolling

32 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Figure 11: Share of world crude steel production by process technology
World crude steel production by technology
(million tonnes)
600
500
BOF
400
300
EAF
200
100
OHF
0
1970

1975

1980

1985

1990

1995

2000

Source: IISI

Steel manufacturing operations have the
potential to lead to a variety of impacts on the
environment.These impacts depend on the
process stage, the size and type of operation,
the technology employed, the nature and
sensitivity of the surrounding environment, and
the effectiveness of planning, pollution
prevention, mitigation and control techniques
adopted.The perceived severity of impacts will
be based on value judgements made by
society and will be linked to the current status
of scientific debate.
Cleaner production is good business, good for
government, industry and society at large.The
lesson from the past is simple: it is less costly
to prevent pollution at source than to clean it
up after it has been produced.
Cleaner production may not solve all of the
environmental problems at a facility, but it will
decrease the reliance on end-of-pipe solutions
and will create smaller quantities of less toxic
waste requiring treatment and disposal.
Cleaner production will reduce workers’
exposure to hazardous chemicals and the

potential for accidents that can lead to harm
of surrounding areas. Products that are
designed and produced with cleaner
production in mind are less harmful to the
environment and their residuals are less of a
burden to waste streams.
As a guide, the application of cleaner
production can be subdivided into the
following areas:
• change of process or manufacturing
technology;
• change of input materials;
• change to the final product;
• reuse of materials on-site, preferably within
the process. Off-site recycling is not
considered part of cleaner production,
although it may bring substantial
environmental benefits;
• Improved housekeeping;
• training.
The steel industry in the 1950s and early
1960s was a major source of pollution,
particularly air pollution, in the densely

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 33

populated areas where production has
traditionally been concentrated. Initially, the
problem was tackled with the retrofitting of
gas and dust collection facilities to existing
plants, but this approach was superseded by
the replacement of obsolete plants, with
newer facilities designed with cleaner
production in mind, and the training of
personnel to raise awareness of environmental
issues.Thus, the improved design, operation,
and maintenance of steelworks processes has
resulted in a reduction of emissions to air of
50% to 80% over the last 20 years.
2.3.2.2 Air pollution prevention
Air pollution remains the most significant
environmental issue for steelmaking, but the
reduction or prevention of atmospheric
emissions is closely linked to energy and
resource conservation, as well as waste water
management. For example, by-product gases
are a valuable fuel source which form an
integral part of a steelworks energy balance.
However, cleaning systems are required to
treat these gases before they can be used and
the resulting waste water may contain
particulate matter and some heavy metals or
organic pollutants, cyanide, ammonia, and other
species. In addition, iron containing dusts and
sludges may also be collected.
Thus, by reducing emissions to air of byproduct gases a steelworks can benefit from
the flexibility of a captive energy resource,
reducing energy consumption, and the
availability of iron-containing materials that
might be returned to the process, reducing
resource consumption. Recirculating systems
can be employed ensuring that the water is
used effectively within the process and, with
careful management of the necessary system
bleeds, process water might be downgraded
to less critical applications, thus minimising the
overall water demand of the steelworks.
If prevention at source is not possible,
emissions should be captured as close as
possible to the point at which they are

generated. Hoods and enclosures are widely
used, incorporating carefully designed
ductwork to prevent dust drop out, blockage,
or excessive erosion, and, once captured, the
offgas is cleaned prior to discharge.
There are four main types of gas cleaning
device including:
• fabric filters, which have been adapted for
use at high gas volumes and temperatures,
with variable dust size and dust loadings
and under acid and alkaline conditions.
Filters are used primarily to capture dust
and fume and are routinely integrated into
materials handling systems, the blast
furnace, BOF and EAF steelmaking plant
and rolling mills;
• electrostatic precipitators (ESPs), which
apply an electrical charge to the particles
of dust, causing them to attach to
oppositely charged plates. Again, ESPs are
used primarily to capture dust and fume
and are routinely integrated into coke
ovens (tar separators), sinter and pellet
plant, BOF and EAF steelmaking plant;
• wet scrubbers, which wash the offgas with
a stream of water droplets.The pollutant
laden water is collected, cleaned of solids
and dissolved substances and then recycled
back to the scrubber. These systems can
be used to capture a wider range of
pollutants including dust, fume, acid gases,
acid aerosols etc. and may be incorporated
into lime production plant, coke ovens,
sinter and pellet plant, BOF steelmaking,
pickling and coating operations;
• dry cyclones, which accelerate the offgas
within a cyclone to remove particulate with
a centrifugal action. Cyclones can only
remove particulate and, because they
operate at a lower efficiency than the other
systems discussed, particularly where fine
material is present, they are not now widely
applied. Examples include the application of
these systems on the sinter plant main
waste gas, although this is not
recommended, and on the sinter cooler gas.

34 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

Emissions abatement in coking works in Poland
A cleaner production assessment of the coking plants in the Zabrze Coking Works, Poland, was
carried out to establish the sources of emitted pollution. Implementation of cleaner production
technology for the coke gas cooling system resulted in the following:
• reduced hydrogen cyanide emissions by 91%,
• reduced benzene emissions by 88%,
• reduced toluene emissions by 89%,
• reduced xylene emissions by 88%,
• reduced hydrogen sulphide emissions by 85%.
The payback period of the capital investment was one month.
The best technology for a particular
application will be dependent on the type of
emission to be abated and on local
circumstances. For example, electrostatic
precipitators use less energy than the other
methods, but are unsuited to highly resistive
dusts. Wet scrubbers are suitable for treating
saturated gases but require water pollution
control facilities to clean the water. Fabric
filters provide high cleaning efficiency, but can
operate over only a limited range of
temperature and moisture conditions.
2.3.2.3 Water and waste water management
The total water requirement of the iron- and
steelmaking processes is of the order 100-200
m3 per tonne of product supplied, primarily, by
integrated recycling systems. From the
viewpoint of pollutant control a high recycling

ratio is preferred, however, factors such as
build-up of hardness and conductivity require
that an optimum recycling ratio is determined
from a total water system analysis.
Table 4 illustrates a comparison between the
intake water requirements of a once-through
system and a system involving extensive
recirculation in a typical integrated works.The
extensive recirculation in indirect and direct
cooling systems reduces the total water intake
to 2.4% of the requirement of the once
through system.
Sources of waste water include that resulting
from direct and indirect cooling, gas cleaning,
scale breaking, pickling, washing and rinsing
operations and rainfall runoff such as from raw
material stockpiles, roads, and building roofs.

Table 4: Intake water requirements for a four million T/y
crude steel integrated works
Water use

Indirect cooling
Direct cooling
Process water
Potable
Total
Source: IISI

Quality

General
General
Low grade
High

Water intake
Once through
Extensive recirculation
3
m /minute
% of total
m3/minute
% of total
675
70.7
7.4
32
265
27.8
6.2
26.8
7.7
0.8
5.1
22.1
1.5
0.2
1.5
6.5
954
100
23.1
100

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 35

Direct cooling involves the open spraying of
water onto steel or equipment and is most
commonly used for cooling hot steel leading
to contamination with millscale and equipment
oil. Water used for indirect cooling is contained
in a closed system and is far less prone to
contamination, however, some water must be
removed from the circuit to prevent excessive
water hardness and build-up of suspended
solids.
When direct and indirect cooling systems are
used together, the water removed from the
indirect circuit can often be used as make-up
water for the direct cooling system, although
some intermediate cooling may be required.
Similarly, although a waste water treatment
plant and pumping system can render waste
water reusable, the use of poor quality water
in critical areas may cause product degradation
and equipment deterioration. As such, waste
water may be best suited for quality insensitive
applications such as dampening of raw material
stockpiles or road washing.
Waste water treatment involves a combination
of physical, chemical and biological processes.
Each waste water stream normally undergoes
an initial treatment close to its source, perhaps
to remove gross solids and oil, before being
sent to a secondary treatment system. Some
sites also use municipal waste water treatment
systems to complement internal secondary
systems.
There are several basic treatments, applied at
most steelworks, that are capable of removing
the great majority (by mass) of waterborne
pollutants prior to discharge and others,
applied as necessary, to remove trace
pollutants.These include:
for the removal of solids:
• settling basins, which are a simple, low
maintenance means of removing solid
particles from liquid by gravity. After a
preliminary stage of chemical coagulation

and precipitation using aluminium or a
polymeric flocculent, the velocity of the
waste water stream is reduced as it passes
into a large volume basin where settling
occurs. Sufficient retention time and regular
sludge removal are important factors that
determine the success of this method;
• clarifiers, which are more effective than
settling basins for the removal of
suspended solids, require less space and
provide for centralised sludge collection.
Conventional clarifiers consist of a circular
or rectangular tank with either a
mechanical sludge collection device or a
sloping funnel shaped bottom into which
sludge collects. Advanced clarifier designs
using slanted tubes or inclined plates may
be used for pre-screening coarse materials
that could clog the system. Chemical aids
can be used to enhance solids removal,
although chemical pre-treatment and
sludge removal systems both require
regular maintenance;
• filtration is a highly reliable method of
waste water treatment, capable of
removing suspended solids and unwanted
odours and colour.The advantages of
filtration are the low solids concentration
that can be achieved, low investment and
operating costs, modest land requirements
and low levels of chemical discharge. Some
pre-treatment may be necessary if the
solids level is greater than 100mg/L. Several
types of filter and filter media are used,
such as the pressure type or gravity types,
operating with single, dual or mixed filter
media.The most important variable in filter
design is the width and depth of the media,
although particle density, size distribution
and chemical composition are also
important in terms of media selection.The
media selected depends on the filtration
rate and may consist of sand, diatomaceous
earth, walnut shells or, for concentrations
below 5mg/L solids, anthracite. All filters
require regular back washing to prevent
accumulation of solids in the filter bed.

36 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

For the removal of oil:
• skimming, which can be used to remove
floating oil and grease from the water
surface. Skimming efficiency depends on
the density of the floated material and the
retention time for phase separation, which
varies from one to 15 minutes. Dispersed
or emulsified oil cannot be removed by
skimming. Skimming is often used as a pretreatment to improve the performance of
subsequent downstream treatments;
• filtration is an effective means of removing
oil from water. Problems are only
encountered when high oil concentrations
contact the filter bed directly, although this
can be avoided if appropriate pretreatments are applied;
• flotation, in which air bubbles attach to the
oil particles that then rise to the surface
and can be skimmed off.The principal
advantage of flotation over sedimentation
is that very small particles can be removed
more completely and in a shorter time.
Various types of flotation are possible. For
example, air may be injected while the
liquid is under pressure, the bubbles being
released when the pressure is reduced
(dissolved air flotation). Aeration may take
place at atmospheric pressure (air
flotation) or the water may be saturated
with air at atmospheric pressure and a
vacuum applied to release the bubbles
(vacuum flotation). In all cases, chemicals
for flocculation and coagulation are usually
added before flotation;
• coalescing filters, which agglomerate small
oil particles thus enhancing the rate at
which oil rise to the surface of waste
water.The filter media is made up of plastic
chips that have the correct surface
properties to attract oil particles from the
waste water stream allowing agglomeration
and release.
For the removal of metals and inorganics:
• chemical precipitation is a process by
which metals in solution can be removed
using alkaline compounds, such as lime or

sodium hydroxide, followed by
sedimentation, clarification and filtration.
Lime also precipitates phosphates as
insoluble calcium phosphates and fluorides
as calcium fluoride. Sodium sulphide allows
for the removal of metals by the
precipitation of insoluble metal sulphides
and calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide
can remove metals as carbonates. Lime is
widely used in the steel industry, as this
technique operates under ambient
conditions, has relatively cheap and
available raw materials and is easily
automated. Although the process produces
clean water, it also generates a metal
bearing sludge that should be recycled or
disposed of in a safe manner, such as in a
well designed landfill.
For the removal of organics:
• biological treatment is used to coagulate
and remove soluble organics and may be
based on the activated sludge system or,
less frequently, other systems such as
rotating biological discs, which are under
test by the steel industry. The activated
sludge process works by stabilising waste
water using micro organisms in an aerobic
environment, achieved by diffused or
mechanical aeration of the waste water in
an aeration tank.There is a constant bleed
from the aeration tank to the settling tank
that allows for the separation of the
biological mass from the waste water, after
which the waste water is sufficiently clean
for discharge. Some systems may also
incorporate an anaerobic stage to enhance
the removal of nitrogen from the system.
Following separation, the majority of the
biological mass is returned to the aeration
tank, but a small portion is removed and
disposed of or recycled to the coking plant.
The system is generally insensitive to
normal fluctuations in hydraulic and
pollutant loading, although certain
pollutants, for example ammonia at high
concentrations and heavy metals, can be
extremely toxic to the micro organisms in

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 37

the system.Temperature will also influence
the metabolic activity of the microbiological
population, gas transfer rates and the
settling characteristics of the biological
solids.The method incurs relatively low
capital and operating costs and is widely
used in the industry for coke plant waste
water treatment;
• carbon adsorption with activated carbon is
an extremely efficient method for removing
organics from waste water. In general, less
soluble and relatively small organic
molecules are most easily adsorbed by
carbon, including most aromatic
compounds, chlorinated non-aromatics,
phenol, pesticides, and high molecular
weight hydrocarbons.The adsorption
process is reversible, allowing the used
carbon to be regenerated by the
application of steam or a solvent. Heating
materials such as almond, coconut, walnut
husks and coal produces activated carbon.
The process relies on the large internal
surface area of activated carbon for
efficient adsorption (500 to 1,500m2/g).
The major benefits of carbon treatment
are its applicability to a wide variety of
organics and its high removal efficiency.The
system is compact and insensitive to wide
variations in concentration and flow rate,
but due to the relatively high capital and
operating costs its use is restricted to the
final treatment of coke plant effluents,
where particularly stringent legislation
applies.
For the removal of trace pollutants:
• technologies such as ion exchange and
membrane separation have been
developed and applied when fresh water is
in particular short supply.The ion exchange
process removes contaminant cations and
anions using synthetic resins or by
adsorption on to activated alumina. Since
most ion exchange reactions are reversible,
the medium can be reused many times
before it must ultimately be replaced due
to irreversible fouling.The main application

area for the ion exchange process in the
steel works is in the preparation of indirect
cooling water for use in boilers.There are
many alternative membrane processes such
as reverse osmosis, electro dialysis, ultra
filtration and nano filtration. Membrane
processes are usually used for desalination
and for removal of specific ions that are
difficult to remove by other means. Many
attempts have also been made to apply
membrane processes to the reuse of waste
water.
2.3.2.4 Energy conservation
The steel industry is a major user of energy. In
Japan, steel accounts for 10% of total energy
consumption and in Germany for 5.7%.
However, indicative of many national industries,
the energy consumed in the German industry
to make one tonne of steel has fallen
significantly from 29 GJ/tonne, in 1960, to
about 22 GJ/tonne in 1989.This has been
achieved by concentrating production at a
smaller number of sites and increasing capacity
of the process units, made possible by the
introduction of technologies such as the back
pressure blast furnace and oxygen steelmaking.
Thus, the number of blast furnaces and steel
plants has been reduced over time to one
quarter and one-fifth of their previous number
respectively.
About 95% of an integrated works’ energy
input comes from solid fuel, primarily coal, 3%
to 4% from gaseous fuels, and 1% to 2% from
liquid fuels. However, approximately threequarters of the energy content of coal is
consumed in the reduction reaction that
converts iron ore to iron in the blast furnace.
The remainder provides heat at the sinter and
coking plants and, in the form of by-product
gas, to the various downstream process stages.
The quantities of liquid and gaseous fuels used
alongside the by-product gases in the
downstream process stages depends on the
overall works energy balance.Thus, by-product
gases from the coke oven, blast furnace and

38 Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development

steelmaking typically contribute 40% to total
energy and are used either as a direct fuel
substitute or for the internal generation of
electricity.The efficient utilisation of these
internally generated energy sources is critical
to the overall energy efficiency of a works,
requiring that the complex relationships
between the different generating and
consuming facilities are understood.
2.3.2.5 Resource conservation
When iron ore is converted into finished steel
products, some iron units are ‘lost’ in the
processes that are inevitably less than 100%
efficient Thus, the production of one tonne of
steel in an integrated plant requires several
times that quantity of raw materials.
A measure of the efficiency of individual or
groups of processes is the yield, defined as the
quantity of material leaving a process
expressed as a fraction of the material
entering, or the mass of product divided by
the crude steel necessary to make that
product. While the phrase ‘yield loss’ is widely
used, its literal translation is misleading because
the majority of the material comprising the
‘loss’ can often be recycled as feed to an
earlier process stage.

Yield losses occur at all the main process
stages, from material handling through ironand steelmaking to the subsequent operations
of casting, rolling and coating. Some loss is
inevitable, although studies revealing the wide
variation in yield performance between
countries suggest that not all producers have
implemented best technology and methods.
For example, an IISI global survey showed that
between 1961 and 1987 yields for hot rolled
products in Japan rose from 77% to over 85%,
while yields for the same process during this
period in the former USSR remained static at
around 70%.Table 5 shows the range of yields
being achieved by steelmakers for the major
processes in 1991.
As indicated above, scrap steel can be 100%
recycled back into the process route and in
tonnage terms is the world’s most recycled
material. Actual scrap recycling rates of over
80% are achieved on a world basis and over
40% of all steel is manufactured using
processes that consume scrap as the primary
input material (for example the EAF and open
hearth). Scrap use is also an essential aspect of
steelmaking BOF process that requires about
10% to 30% of scrap as a feed material to
operate correctly. As such, steel scrap is a

Table 5: Range of yields for processes and products
Process
BOF steelmaking
EAF steelmaking
Slab concast
Bloom concast
Billet concast
Hot rolled coil
Cold rolled coil
Tinplate
Plate
Sections
Wire rod
Straight bar

Range of yields (%)
86.0 - 95.0
85.0 - 92.5
84.9 - 98.0
82.3 - 97.6
76.7 - 99.0
84.5 - 98.8
82.4 - 93.8
83.4 - 97.3
74.1 - 94.8
78.4 - 97.5
88.0 - 98.6
85.5 - 97.3

Implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development 39

valuable and necessary raw material, and one
that is returned to the steelmaker through a
sophisticated and often independent recycling
infrastructure.
The technology for steel recycling is well
proven and based on the magnetic properties
of iron and steel for its separation from nonmetallic/nonferrous contaminants. In addition,
scrap processing technologies involving the
shredding and subsequent separation of scrap
components have resulted in an increase in
the recyclability of products as diverse as
automobiles and beverage cans.
Obviously, the EAF producers have always
sourced the majority of their scrap feed from
external sources, but increasingly the
integrated producer is having to do the same
as the quantity of internally generated scrap is
falling as yields improve. For example, in
Germany the introduction of continuous
casting has cut the quantity of in-plant
generated scrap by two thirds.
By recycling nearly 300 million tonnes of scrap
each year (not including internally generated
scrap), the steel industry:
• does not have to extract 475 million
tonnes of natural iron bearing ore,
• saves energy equivalent of 160 million
tonnes of hard coal,
• avoids the emission of 470 million tonnes
of carbon dioxide.

While the large quantities of by-products and
wastes associated with the production of iron
and steel have been progressively declining
over the past 30 years, responsible
management of both types of material remains
an important and challenging task. If internally
generated scrap is counted as a by-product,
the industry currently recycles about 90% of
all its by-products and wastes. Blast furnace
slag accounts for 54% by volume of all
integrated site by-products.The remainder
made up of steelmaking slag (21%), special
slags from pre-treatments (6%) and
construction and refractory wastes such as
used furnace lining bricks (7%).
Particulate matter and sludge from operations
such as gas scrubbing have increased over the
last ten years and account for 7% of the total.
Other materials include coarse scale (the
oxidised skin on hot steel surfaces) and
millscale that, together, account for about 5%
of total by-products and wastes.
Although the industry successfully recycles or
reuses a large proportion of the wastes and
by-products arising form the steelmaking
process, there are still major efforts to
valourise the more difficult materials. This
effort will bring both environmental and
economic benefits.

40 Iron and Steel

Means of implementation 41

Part 3: Means of implementation
3.1 Strategies
Environmental issues are now so numerous,
complex, interconnected and continuously
evolving that an ad hoc approach to problem
solving is no longer considered effective. A
systematic approach to management is
required. A formal environmental management
system (EMS) provides a decision-making
structure and action programme to support
continuous improvement in environmental
performance.The ISO 14001 standard
provides a basis for steel companies to have
their EMS programmes certified.

The 30 companies responding to this survey
represent 24% of the total world production
of steel in 1999, (~187 Mt), and cover mainly
the integrated works, therefore the EAF
operators, and particularly stainless steel and
special steels, are under-represented. Regional
variations are found to be slight, mainly due to
the number of responses in each region
making sound statistical comparisons difficult.
Differences were apparent between integrated
and EAF works, however larger numbers of
EAF responses are required to allow a more
significant comparison.The results and
following analysis should be considered with
these points in mind.

A survey of EMS programmes was completed
by IISI in 2000.The study looked at the current
status of environmental management systems
in the iron and steel industry with an aim to
benchmark the current development, and offer
a best practice for those companies about to
undertake the implementation of a system. A
special questionnaire was circulated to the
members of IISI’s Committee on Environment.

In terms of the EMS in place, only 37% are
certified to international standards, however,
the certification process is not considered an
obstacle to gaining the standard, instead a lack
of resources is to blame (manpower for the
larger operators, and financial for the smaller
(generally EAF) operators). 50% of those
systems uncertified intend to certify them to
ISO or other standards.

The role of EMS in the iron and steel industry
is becoming increasingly significant in customer,
supplier, public and regulatory relationships, as
the steel product reaches a wider audience
through a more informed awareness. EMS, and
especially the auditing aspects, are a tool for
the industry to control and improve the
implemented system, and are widespread in
the industry, with 80% of the companies
operating one.

The application of the EMS is most common
at the highest level of the company, but there
is a significant regional variation between
Europe and South America, where six out of
ten companies in South America have their
system at company level, compared with only
one out of ten in Europe – the systems are
generally spread throughout the company.
Europe also has the highest number of
companies not operating an EMS.

3.1.1 Management systems

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. Certified to ISO 14001
Shanghai Boasteel Group Corporation (SBGC) pays great attention to environmental protection.
Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., a company of SBGC, is the first to obtain the environmental certificate
of ISO14001 among the metallurgical enterprises in China. Its green coverage in plant area is up
to 38.12%, which makes its air quality the same level as that in national scenery spots.

42 Means of implementation

The automotive sector, of all the sectors
indicated by the companies as the area from
which most revenue is received, showed the
lowest degree of EMS implementation.The
customer and regulatory pressures experienced
in iron and steel industry – particularly in this
sector – make this result surprising.
The companies indicated that in 72% of the
cases, products were included in the EMS,
however in terms of the supplier, 53%
indicated that they have requirements as part
of the EMS.
In terms of auditing, 77% of companies carry
out internal audits, with a spread at the various
company levels, and are generally once a year
in frequency. Average sizes of the audit teams
are three to four people, with the average
number of days a year for the audits being 31,
44, 51, and 14 for the company, site, business
unit, and production unit respectively.The
average number of auditors per company is
24, with the average proportion that are
accredited at 20%. Only one company
(Europe) has only external auditors.
Environmental performance is considered the
most important factor for reducing air and
water pollution and recycling waste.
Performance targets are generally reviewed
every year.The reasons for revision of the
targets are mainly ‘relevant regulations’,
followed by the environmental impacts of
various aspects of the process. Checking the
targets takes place widely across all companies,
and at all levels, particularly on an annual and
monthly basis. On the whole, the head of the

particular company level establishes the
targets, but the share evens out at the business
unit and production unit level where other
managers and most likely, environmental
personnel, are involved.

3.1.2 Product stewardship
Steel’s distinctive environmental fingerprint has
many advantages. More than half of the steel
we see around us has already been recycled
from scrap.This valuable material – from old
cars, buildings, and steel cans, for example – is
a powerful energy and resource saver. It takes
at least 60% less energy to produce steel from
scrap than it does from iron ore. Waste
disposal problems are lessened because used
steel can be recycled over and over.
Sooner or later, virtually all scrap gets back to
the steel mill.
Steel’s established recycling loop and the ease
with which scrap is reclaimed through steel’s
natural magnetism helps today’s designers
make end-of-life recycling a vital part of
product planning. Steel beverage cans may
become new steel in a matter of weeks; cars
may take ten to 15 years; buildings and bridges
nearly a century. But sooner or later virtually
all scrap gets back to the steel mill.
Steel is the world’s most versatile material to
recycle. Other less flexible materials must be
recycled back to their original uses. But once
recycled, steel can hop from one product to
another without losing its quality. Steel from
cans, for instance, can as easily turn up in
precision blades for turbines or super strong
suspension cables.

New steel casting technology
Nucor Corporation is constructing the first commercial Castrip(tm) facility in Crawfordsville,
Indiana, (United States), to produce thin-strip sheet steel. Strip casting involves the direct casting
of molten steel into final shape and thickness without further hot or cold rolling, allowing lower
investment and operating costs, reduced energy consumption and smaller scale plants than can
be economically built with current technology.The facility is expected to be operational in 2002
and have a production capability of up to 500,000 tonnes per year of hot rolled coil.

Means of implementation 43

Every year steelmakers recycle nearly
385 million tonnes of steel.This is equivalent
to more than 1,055,000 tonnes each day,
44,000 tonnes each hour, and 12 tonnes each
second. In the 60 seconds it has taken you to
scan this page, steelmakers around the world
recycled more then 700 tonnes of steel.

3.1.3 Steel production
Increased energy and resource efficiency in
steel production will bring significant advances
in the sustainability of the steel industry.These
gains in efficiency result from achievements in
optimising current production methods and
from the introduction of new technologies.
In the recent IISI study Energy Use in the Steel
Industry, case studies of four steel product
facilities indicated reductions in energy
consumption has been in the order of 25%
since the mid-1970s.The report suggests the
future may bring energy consumption figures
of 12GJ/t of steel, a savings of about 60%
from current values, although this is not
economically or technically feasible today.
One focus of technology development is
steel strip casting. Strip casting involves the
direct casting of molten steel into solid strip
steel, bypassing the need for hot and cold
rolling to obtain the final shape and thickness.
The introduction of this technology will
reduce energy demand to 0.2GJ/t, or a
reduction of 81% to 89% compared with
conventional casting and hot rolling
technologies.(5) Strip casting is expected to
also have lower capital and operating costs
and result in steel products with new
metallurgical properties.

3.1.4 Economics
Earlier this year IISI issued a call for an
immediate start of inter-governmental
negotiations on steel. A positive response from
governments led to the convening of a high
level meeting at the OECD in September.
Governments from around the world met
again in December 2001 to report back on

the results of discussions that they have held
with their individual industries.
Steel industry leaders recognise that it is their
responsibility to improve the financial
performance of the industry by implementing
the changes in industry structure and
behaviour that are required.The now global
nature of the steel business requires further
urgent and major changes in the size and
scope of individual steel enterprises and they
need clear support of governments to move
quickly in this direction.
The board of directors restated that decisions
to close steel plants and to invest in new
capacity is the responsibility of individual steel
enterprises.There are, however, important
areas where governments can help the
industry.These are:
• assistance with the past and present social
and environmental problems associated
with the permanent closure of plants;
• the elimination of all state aid and subsidies
which help to maintain existing plants;
• the elimination of state aid or state
guaranteed loans for new capacity;
• support for an open and fair trading system
in steel rather than self-sufficiency;
• competition policies based on global rather
than national or regional competition
criteria to allow the international
consolidations and alliances required;
• support for the provision of faster, more
transparent information on trade,
shipments, price, inventories and capacities.

3.2 Measures
At the time of writing this report, there are no
agreed measures of sustainable development
for the world steel industry. Indeed, this
situation is not unique to the steel industry, or
for that matter to industry, government and
civil society. However, as part of its current
sustainable development programme, IISI will
consider measures, or indicators, of sustainable

(5) Wechsler, Richard L.; “The
Status of Twin-Roll Casting
Technology, Comparison with
Conventional Technology”; IISI35 Conference, Seoul, 7-10
October 2001.

44 Means of implementation

development that might be recommended to
the world steel industry and tracked on a
worldwide basis.
For this report, the measures of
implementation of sustainable development
are divided into measures of environmental
performance, measures of social performance,
and measures of economic performance.
Examples of the world steel industry’s
performance are presented.

3.2.1 Measures of environmental
performance
Relevant measures of environmental
performance include energy efficiency,
resource efficiency, and releases to air, water,
and ground. It is in this regard that the world
steel industry has comprehensive worldwide
data in the form of a life cycle inventory (LCI)
study. LCI is a quantitative analysis of the inputs
(resources and energy) and outputs (products,
co-products, emissions) of a product system.
For more information on life cycle assessment,
and life cycle inventory, the reader is referred
to the ISO 14040, ISO 14041, ISO 14042, and
ISO 14043 standards.
In 1995 IISI undertook the first worldwide LCI
study for the steel industry.This study included
a ‘cradle to gate’ analysis of steel production,
from the extraction of resources and use of
recycled materials through the production of
steel products at the steel works gate.The
results for hot rolled coil are presented in table
6 (opposite), where the hot rolled coil here is
steel continuously cast at an integrated steel
plant and rolled to reduce thickness (and
elongate the continuously cast steel slab into
strip) in the hot strip mill. It can be noted these
results are derived from a survey of steel
works around the world, and these results in
particular, represent a global average of 19941995 data from some 25 sites.
Interpreting the LCI results for resource and
energy efficiency, it can be said to produce 1kg
of hot rolled coil at an integrated works, we

would expect the average resource
consumption to include 0.59kg of coal, 1.4kg
of iron ore, 0.14kg of steel scrap, and 12L of
fresh water. In terms of energy consumption, a
total energy of 24.8MJ is required, of which
most can be classified as non-renewable fuel
energy.
Producing 1kg of hot rolled coil results in
emissions to air, water and land as well.
Emissions to air include 1,911g of carbon
dioxide, 2.2g of nitrogen oxides, 1.5g of
particulates, and 2.2g of sulphur oxides.
Emissions to water include 0.3g of chlorides,
0.05g of nitrogen and 0.2g of suspended matter.
The total waste generated from producing 1kg
of hot rolled coil amounts to 0.2kg.
An example of the LCI results for producing
1kg of rebar/wire rod/engineering steel from
the electric arc furnace processing route is
given in table 7. As described earlier in this
report, electric arc furnace steelmaking uses
recycled steel as its main source of iron.
Electric arc furnace steelmaking and integrated
steelmaking (using iron ore and recycled steel)
have a symbiotic relationship as integrated
steelmaking does not consume the world
supply of recycled steel while electric arc
furnace steelmaking requires a supply of
recycled steel that would be limited without
new steel being made.
As with the results for hot rolled coil from
integrated steelmaking, the results for
rebar/wire rod/engineering steel are based on
1994-1995 data.
To produce 1kg of rebar/wire rod/engineering
steel, considering ‘cradle to gate’ and a global
average of surveyed sites, it can be seen that
the largest resource requirement is 1.07kg of
recycled steel, followed by 0.075kg of
limestone, 0.075kg of coal, 0.0583kg of oil and
0.0556kg of natural gas. About 7.2L of fresh
water is required.The total energy
requirement is 11.8MJ.

Means of implementation 45

Table 6: LCI results for 1kg of hot rolled steel coil (global average)
Inputs:
Major Articles*
(r) Coal
(r) Dolomite (CaCO3.MgCO3)
(r) Iron (Fe, ore)
(r) Limestone (CaCO3)
(r) Natural Gas
(r) Oil
(r) Zinc (Zn, ore)
Ferrous Scraps (net)
Fresh Water (total)

Units
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
litre

Average
0.589
0.0250
1.43
-0.0077
0.0402
0.0469
0.0000
0.135
12.0

Outputs:
Major Articles*
(a) Carbon Dioxide (CO2, fossil and mineral)
(a) Carbon Monoxide (CO)
(a) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx as NO2)
(a) Particulates (total)
(a) Sulphur Oxides (SOx as SO2)
(w) Ammonia (NH4+, NH3, as N)
(w) Chlorides (Cl-)
(w) Chromium (Cr III, Cr VI)
(w) COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand)
(w) Cyanides (CN-)
(w) Fluorides (F-)
(w) Iron (Fe++, Fe3+)
(w) Lead (Pb++, Pb4+)
(w) Nickel (Ni++, Ni3+)
(w) Nitrogen (total except ammonia, as N)
(w) Phenol (C6H6O)
(w) Phosphates (PO4 3-, HPO4—, H2PO4-, H3PO4, as P)
(w) Phosphorus (total except phosphates, as P)
(w) Sulphides (S--)
(w) Suspended Matter (unspecified)
(w) Water
(w) Zinc (Zn++)
Non Allocated By-products (total)
Waste (total)

Units
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
litre
g
kg
kg

Average
1911
26.4
2.18
1.46
2.19
0.1043
0.30
2.00E-05
0.188
1.05E-03
0.0209
1.44E-02
1.28E-04
9.34E-05
0.0492
5.20E-03
-1.72E-03
6.73E-04
0.131
0.188
8.31
2.90E-03
0.0584
0.204

Energy Reminders:
Total Primary Energy
Non Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy
Fuel Energy
Feedstock Energy

Units
MJ
MJ
MJ
MJ
MJ

Average
24.8
24.5
0.352
24.7
0.126

Major Articles*

(r): Raw material in ground,
(a): Airborne emissions,
(w): Waterborne emissions
* A full listing of IISI LCI data
contains 450 articles, only
major articles are shown here.

46 Means of implementation

Table 7: LCI results for 1kg of rebar/wire rod/engineering (global average)

(r): Raw material in ground,
(a): Airborne emissions,
(w): Waterborne emissions
* A full listing of IISI LCI data
contains 450 articles, only
major articles are shown here.

Inputs:
Major Articles*
(r) Coal
(r) Dolomite (CaCO3.MgCO3)
(r) Iron (Fe, ore)
(r) Limestone (CaCO3)
(r) Natural Gas
(r) Oil
(r) Zinc (Zn, ore)
Ferrous Scraps (net)
Fresh Water (total)

Units
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
kg
litre

Average
0.0750
8.09E-04
-0.0101
0.0750
0.0556
0.0583
-3.63E-03
1.068
7.19

Outputs:
Major Articles*
(a) Carbon Dioxide (CO2, fossil and mineral)
(a) Carbon Monoxide (CO)
(a) Nitrogen Oxides (NOx as NO2)
(a) Particulates (total)
(a) Sulphur Oxides (SOx as SO2)
(w) Ammonia (NH4+, NH3, as N)
(w) Chlorides (Cl-)
(w) Chromium (Cr III, Cr VI)
(w) COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand)
(w) Cyanides (CN-)
(w) Fluorides (F-)
(w) Iron (Fe++, Fe3+)
(w) Lead (Pb++, Pb4+)
(w) Nickel (Ni++, Ni3+)
(w) Nitrogen (total except ammonia, as N)
(w) Phenol (C6H6O)
(w) Phosphates (PO4 3-, HPO4—, H2PO4-, H3PO4, as P)
(w) Phosphorus (total except phosphates, as P)
(w) Sulphides (S--)
(w) Suspended Matter (unspecified)
(w) Water
(w) Zinc (Zn++)
Non Allocated By-products (total)
Waste (total)

Units
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
g
litre
g
kg
kg

Average
558
2.37
1.53
0.213
1.98
-7.85E-04
0.287
2.79E-05
0.0314
2.52E-06
0.0177
1.45E-03
9.22E-05
6.88E-05
-1.13E-03
3.08E-05
8.00E-03
0.0650
-1.83E-04
0.0319
5.87
1.93E-04
0.118
0.0558

Energy Reminders:
Total Primary Energy
Non Renewable Energy
Renewable Energy
Fuel Energy
Feedstock Energy

Units
MJ
MJ
MJ
MJ
MJ

Average
11.8
10.9
0.93
11.3
0.57

Major Articles*

Means of implementation 47

For air emissions, 558g of carbon dioxide is
emitted, 1.98g of sulphur oxides, 1.53g of
nitrogen oxides, and 0.2g of particulate.
Emissions to water include 0.287g of chlorides,
0.065g of phosphorus, and 0.032g of
suspended matter.
The total waste generated is 0.06kg for 1kg of
rebar/wire rod/engineering steel.
In interpreting these results, it is important to
keep in mind that the inputs and outputs do
not all occur at the steel works site. As the
LCI results are ‘cradle to gate’, the results
presented here include inputs and outputs
from upstream processes, such as iron ore
mining, coal mining, oil production and
electricity generation. In fact, the inputs and
outputs are related to locations around the
world and to varying times as well.
In 2002, IISI will complete its second
worldwide LCI study of steel products. Among
other uses, the results of this second study can
be benchmarked against the first study to

gauge changes in energy and resource
efficiency and releases to air, water, and
ground.
More information on the IISI LCI work can
be found at the IISI Web site
http://www.worldsteel.org.

3.2.2 Measures of social performance
One measure of the world steel industry’s
social performance is health and safety of
people employed in the steel industry.
Currently, compiled statistics for the world
industry are not available, though this is an
action under investigation by IISI.
Though worldwide data on health and safety is
not available, some regional data is presented
here. In figure 12, the total recordable injuries
of reporting steel companies belonging to the
American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) are
given for 1994 through 2000.The total
recordable injury rate, per 200,000 manhours,
decreased 36% from 1994 to 2000.

Figure 12: Total recordable injuries for all American Iron and Steel Institute
(AISI) reporting steel companies
Total recordable injuries
(per 200,000 manhours)
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1994

1995

Source: AISI and AK Steel

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

48 Means of implementation

A measure of the impact of steel on the
world’s social condition is the apparent
consumption per capita.This statistic might be
considered one indication of a country’s
prosperity with the notion that greater steel
consumption per capita is a sign of economic
prosperity.Table 8 gives the per capita
apparent steel consumption for selected
countries for the year 1999.The world average
for apparent steel consumption per capita is
138.2kg.
It can be noted in general that more
industrialised countries utilised between 250kg
and 600kg of steel per person. Developing
countries use less steel per capita, with
examples being China at 107kg/capita, Brazil at
99kg/capita and South Africa with 81kg/capita.
South Korea and Taiwan, China top the list.
South Korea registers 757kg/capita, while
Taiwan, China tops the list at 1,109 kg/capita.

3.2.3 Measures of economic
performance
Two measures of economic performance are
revenue and income.Table 9 (page 50)
provides the revenue and income for 19 of
the 20 largest steel producers in the world

based on the latest available annual results. It
can be seen that 14 of the 19 listed
companies posted a profit, although for some
companies posting a profit their income as a
percentage of revenue is quite low and
unattractive to the financial community when
compared with investment opportunities in
other industries.The companies listed include
six based in the EU, four based in Japan, three
based in the United States, two based in
Russia, and one each based in China,Taiwan,
China, India, and South Korea.
When reading table 9 one has to bear in mind
that accounting practices differ around the
world and between companies. It is not
necessarily reliable to compare the results of
companies operating in different jurisdictions.
Additionally, some of the listed companies
operate businesses in addition to steel
manufacturing and the results of these
businesses are included in the parent company
results. As a further caveat, some companies
have significant state ownership, while others
have no state ownership.The intent of
presenting the results is to provide a broad,
and admittedly insufficient, indication of the
financial health of the world steel industry.

Nothing will ever matter more to us
AK Steel, headquartered in Middletown, Ohio (United States), is one of the nation’s leaders in
creating and maintaining a safety culture throughout the company. Besides its comprehensive
workplace safety programmes, the company emphasises its safety performance in its annual
reports to stakeholders and other public reports. AK Steel’s safety programme has three major
elements: a complete management commitment to safety, a strong employee and contractor
safety programme and extensive employee participation in the most comprehensive safety
training and awareness programmes in the steel industry. AK Steel’s total recordable injuries in
2000 was 1.43 per 200,000 manhours, compared with 7.90, the average of all AISI reporting
steel companies.

Means of implementation 49

Table 8: Apparent steel consumption per capita for selected countries
Country
Taiwan, China
South Korea
Canada
Japan
Italy
Austria
Spain
Germany
United States
France
United Kingdom
Poland
Turkey
Russia
Mexico
China
Brazil
South Africa
Ukraine
India
World
Source: IISI

Apparent steel consumption per capita
(kg crude steel, 1999)
1,109.1
756.7
604.4
557.3
552.3
537.7
469.3
468.7
458.0
325.5
265.9
204.6
188.8
132.6
122.5
107.6
99.4
80.9
61.4
30.1
138.2

50 Means of implementation

Table 9: Revenue and income for the top steel producing companies.
Company
Arbed S.A.(1)
Bethlehem Steel Corporation
China Steel Corporation
Corus Group plc
Ispat International N.V.
Kawasaki Steel Corporation
Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works
Nippon Steel Corporation
NKK Corporation
Nucor Corporation
Pohang Iron and Steel Co., Ltd
Riva Group
SeverStal
Shanghai Boasteel Group Corporation
Steel Authority of India
Sumitomo Metal Industries
ThyssenKrupp AG
United States Steel Corporation
Usinor Group(1)

Reporting Period
(year end)
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
03/2001
12/2000
03/2001
03/2001
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
12/2000
03/2001
03/2001
09/2000
12/2000
12/2000

Source: Hoovers Online and company annual reports

(1) Arbed, Usinor and Aceralia
will merge in 2002 to become
Arcelor

Revenue
(million USD)
13,372
4,197
3,044
17,491
5,097
10,414
1,520
21,772
14,148
4,586
10,873
4,415
2,073
8,228
3,639
11,855
32,710
6,132
14,814

Income
(million USD)
418
-118
562
-2,017
99
-144
447
210
768
311
1,289
256
453
187
-156
46
463
-21
775

Future challenges and goals 51

Part 4: Future challenges and goals
4.1 Priorities for
improvement and future
work programme
The world steel industry has made great
strides in sustainable development by providing
products and services valued by society,
increasing resource and energy efficiency,
reducing emissions to air, water and land,
adding economic value to the world economy,
providing safe and healthy work environments,
and being responsible participants in local
communities. Even with the tremendous
amount of work that has been done, there still
remain opportunities for improvement in the
performance of the world steel industry in all
three aspects of sustainable development;
economic, environmental and social.
Improvement will come largely from the work
of the world’s steel companies and their
collaborative ventures within and outside the
industry. Accordingly, companies with regard to
their individual circumstances will set priorities
for improvement, and where priorities
coincide, with their partners and stakeholders.
Some priorities being considered, in no
particular order, include:
• financial sustainability of steel companies.
Sound financial health of companies, and
the industry as a whole, is a fundamental
requirement for sustainable development;
• co-operation with governments to address
overcapacity and international trade;
• new steelmaking technologies to increase
the resource and energy efficiency of steel
manufacturing;
• development of new steels and processes
to meet customer needs for affordable,
safe, strong, and versatile materials that also
respect the environment;
• development of measures to gauge
progress with sustainable development;

• education, training, and benchmarking to
build capability with respect to sustainable
development;
• health and safety of workers;
• community development;
• reduction of releases to the environment,
including gases leading to climate change;
• communicate sustainable development
activities of the world steel industry.
At its 9 December 2001 meeting, the board of
directors of IISI, consisting of about 60 chief
executive officers of steel companies from
around the world, renewed its support for
sustainable development by declaring it to be
one of IISI’s core objectives.The board of
directors provided IISI with a mandate to
provide leadership for the world steel industry
regarding sustainable development. In practice,
it means incorporating sustainable
development into the work of the IISI,
supporting those steel companies already
active in sustainable development, and helping
to build capabilities in those companies less
familiar with sustainable development.
To this end, a steering group has been working
to prepare recommendations to meet the
challenge set forth by the board of directors.
The recommendations will be presented to
the spring 2002 meeting of the board and, if
approved, will form the basis of a concerted
effort by the world steel industry to forward
sustainable development on a collective basis.
Apart from the IISI initiative, individual steel
companies and regional steel organisations will
continue existing, and initiate, sustainable
development activities.

52 Annexe 1

Annexe 1: IISI policy
statement on
environmental principles

compatible with, but also critical to, the success
of sustainable development. On average, about
40% of all steel produced is sourced from
steel scrap. Steel uses less energy per tonne to
produce than many competitive materials.

Foreword

Environmental protection initiatives and
improvements will continue to be a major
element of iron and steel operations for the
foreseeable future. Sustainable development is
a complex subject that involves not only
environmental protection, but also issues such
economic prosperity, population growth and
poverty. Relative priorities and relationships
must be established if progress continues.

The board of directors of the International
Iron and Steel Institute (IISI) approved this
new statement on the Environment at its
meeting in London on 13 April 1992.The steel
industry is proud of its achievements on
environmental protection over the last 20
years since the first IISI Statement on the
Environment was published in 1972.This new
statement underlines the priority which steel
continues to give to sustainable development
and sets out the principles that lead to
environmental excellence in the operation of
our industry.
Brian Loton, chairman IISI 1991-1992
Chairman, BHP, Melbourne, Australia

Preamble
The member companies of the IISI have long
recognised their responsibility to conduct
production operations in a manner that
protect the environment and contributes
towards the objectives of sustainable
development -a concept that involves meeting
the needs of the present compromising the
ability of future generations to meet their own
needs.The first IISI Statement on the
Environment was published in 1972. Since then
much has been accomplished. It is estimated
that in the last decade, over 10% of the total
expenditure by the steel industry has been on
environmental control – a sum of close to
USD20,000 million on protection of the
environment.
Steel as a material has also made a major
contribution to sustainable development in the
construction of environmental protection
systems, infrastructure and energy
conservation systems. Steel products are
‘environmentally friendly’ and are not only

Statement of policy
The member companies of IISI are committed
to providing leadership in achieving a high
standard of environmental care while
contributing to the needs and prosperity of
society through the production of steel.

Principles
IISI believes that environmental excellence is
furthered by the following principles:
1 Sustainable development
Apply the principle of sustainable development to
the steel industry.
This involves working together to take a longterm global view of environment, economy and
social integration.These principles should be
incorporated into business decision making at
all levels and throughout the live cycle of the
process and products. Sustainable development
should be seen as an opportunity as well as a
challenge. IISI recognises that different countries
and steel firms are evolving towards these goals
in different ways.
2 Decision making
Incorporate sound science, risk assessment and
cost/benefit analysis to establish priorities and
standards for continuous and fundamental
improvement that are equitable reasonable and
to identify the most cost-effective application of
resources.

Annexe 1 53

These principles apply to internal decision
making as well as public policy and legislation.

reuse and material and energy conservation
through yield improvements.

3 Environmental protection
Support efforts to conserve and improve the
quality of the environment by recognising
environment management as among the highest
corporate priorities and a key element of
sustainable development.
This includes the creation and support of an
internal organisation to integrate effective
environmental policies, programmes and
practices into each business actually as an
essential element of sound management.

7 Energy management
Conserve and make the most efficient use of
energy to reduce the production of greenhouse
and acid gases and thereby improve the
environment.
Although the mechanisms and impact of global
warming are not yet confirmed or clear,
prudent and reasonable conservation
measures can be taken now based upon cost
reductions and resource conservation.

4 Environmental management systems
Incorporate innovative and progressive
environmental management systems to minimise
environmental impact.
Examples include safe and responsible life
cycle management of chemicals and processes,
environmental impact assessment planning for
new processes, best management practices,
assessment of environmental performance,
emergency response planning and product
stewardship.
5 Environmental technologies
Design, operate and maintain facilities and
equipment to minimise environmental impact.
This includes incorporating reasonable
measures for pollution prevention at the
source through process or raw material
changes, incorporating cleaner technologies,
and using all reasonable care to control
discharges. Environmental considerations
should be an integral part of the research,
development and design stages through to
recycling of used products and ultimately
decommissioning of facilities.
6 Resource management
Incorporate the fundamentals of efficient resource
conservation and waste reduction, reuse, recycle
and recovery into all elements of operations and
products.
Examples include scrap recycling, slag and
oxide reuse and recycle, coke by-product

8 Education, training and information
Develop and promote mutual understanding
through education, training and information for
stakeholders, including directors, management,
supervisors, employees, contractors, shareholders,
suppliers, customers, government and the
community.
These measures should be appropriate to the
needs and responsibilities of the stakeholders.
This should be open, positive, proactive and
incorporate a long-term global view.
9 Research, innovation and technical
cooperation
Support research, innovation and technical
cooperation that will result in continuous
improvement, technical breakthroughs and
technologies.
This development should be seen as an
opportunity to transfer technology to other
firms and countries to further environmental
and economic improvement on a global basis.
10 Government requirements
Co-operate with government in a responsible
manner and contribute to the development of
cost-effective legislation and regulations that are
based upon sound science, technical possibilities
and the true environmental and economic
priorities of the global community.
Environment regulations require a balancing of
social, economic and environmental goals.The
health and environmental risks addressed by
proposed regulations must be carefully

54 Annexe 1

quantified and then properly evaluated by
comparison with other natural and man-made
risks.The resolution of economic and social
conditions among nations including the use of
economic instruments should be consistent
with equity and harmonisation of their
environmental requirements. International
co-operation and consensus is important and
necessary for successful implementation.
IISI supports, in concept, the International
Chamber of Commerce Business Charter for
Sustainable Development and the ICC
Environmental Guidelines for World Industry.
Many individual steel companies have
endorsed the Charter.

Annexe 2: IISI policy
statement on climate
change
The steel industry’s position on the UNFCCC:
1. The steel industry is committed to
incorporating the principles of sustainable
development into all aspects of its
operations and supports efforts to
safeguard and improve the environment
(see IISI Statement on the Environment,
IISI, Brussels, 1992).
2. The steel industry understands that the
present state of knowledge and uncertainty
about the relationship between carbon
dioxide levels and climate change argues
for caution in the short term while further
research in undertaken. Policy measures
should be flexible and based on sound and
rigorous scientific knowledge.
3. A global problem requires a global
approach and should involve all countries.
A carbon tax or other measures in some
countries, but not in others, will distort
international trade and paradoxically could
lead to greater production of steel in
countries with a higher level of carbon
dioxide emissions.The steel industry
supports consideration of the use of
flexible mechanisms such as the principles
of joint implementation, clean development
mechanisms and emissions trading
proposed by the Kyoto Protocol.The steel
industry will work to help develop the use
of these mechanisms in a practical and
positive way.

Annexe 2 55

4. Measures that involve taxes on carbon
dioxide emissions from the steel industry
would not result in any significant
reduction, but instead, in draining the
financial resources of the sector, they
would impact negatively on the industry’s
investment programme and research and
development which represent the best way
for the industry to meet the challenge of
sustainable development in the longer
term.
5. Policy for the steel industry should focus
on voluntary programmes and incentives
to encourage greater energy conservation
and efficiency and recognition of the
international nature of the steel business.
Voluntary action is effective because the
industry can develop and take measures
that are both cost-effective and take
account of trends in technology.The
industry seeks an active role in the
dialogue between governments and
industry, which is essential for the
development of a viable long-term strategy
addressing the issue of climate change.

Annexe 3: IISI policy
statement on Life Cycle
Assessment
General remarks
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is one of the
tools increasingly being used to consider the
environmental issues associated with the
production, use, disposal and recycling of
products, including the materials from which
they are made. An LCA is generally recognised
to consist of four phases – the establishment
of the goals and scope of the assessment, the
drawing up of an inventory of the input of
materials and energy and the output of
emissions for each stage of the product life
cycle, an assessment of the impact on the
environment, and the identification of actions
for improvement.
The techniques of LCA are in a very early
stage of development as a science.The results
are often sensitive to the exact assumptions
made. Environmental priorities and issues differ
in different societies and therefore the analysis
is specific in both location and time.There is a
danger in reducing complex issues to simplistic
and partial analysis. Unfortunately many of the
LCA studies published to date do not pass
reasonable criteria of objectivity.
LCA can be used to identify priorities for
improvements in process operations and
product design and development, working
closely with customers.The present state of
the art and the sensitivity of results to
subjective assumptions demand extreme
caution when using LCA to compare the
impact on the environment of alternative
materials.
The steel industry is committed to the
concept of sustainable development.This is
illustrated by the IISI Statement on the
Environment, which states that the highest

56 Annexe 3

standards of environmental care require that
the principle of sustainable development is
incorporated into all aspects of the
management of our industry. It is therefore
essential that LCA studies should be correctly
placed in the broader context of sustainable
development.

5. Publish data clearly in a form that allows
the user to clearly identify the key
assumptions made and the sensitivity to
those assumptions.

To avoid the value of LCA being undermined,
the steel industry has been very careful in its
use – both in the undertaking of studies and in
the publication and interpretation of data and
results. A set of practical guidelines has been
drawn up which the IISI board of directors
commends to all those undertaking or using
LCA for the purposes outlined above.

7. Avoid the mixing of product comparisons
based on actual current practice with those
based on optimal performance at some
future date.

Practical guidelines for those undertaking or
using LCA:
1. Maintain the highest standards in both the
undertaking of LCA studies and their
disclosure to both internal and external
audiences.
2. Seek to place LCA within its broader
context of sustainable development,
recognising that this requires that due
weight must also be given to the impact on
human health and safety, welfare, biodiversity, the impact on individual ecosystems, the length of a product’s life and
its recyclability, and the sustainable use of
natural resources.
3. Support efforts to develop a consistent,
rigorous and transparent methodology for
LCA to enable society to make informed
choices on the environmental impact of
products and processes.
4. Support the collection and dissemination
of data on the use and reuse of materials,
and the environmental effects resulting
from their production.

6. Avoid the selective disclosure of results or
the use of data out of its original context.

8. Avoid claims of superior impact on the
environment where the differences
between materials are likely to be within
the margin of error of the key assumptions.
9. Support the development of standards for
LCA, including the work of the
International Organisation for
Standardisation (ISO).

UNEP contribution to the World Summit on Sustainable Development
The mission of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is to provide leadership and
encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and
peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. The UNEP
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) contributes to the UNEP mission by
encouraging decision-makers in government, business, and industry develop and adopt policies, strategies
and practices that are cleaner and safer, make efficient use of natural resources, ensure adequate
management of chemicals, incorporate environmental costs, and reduce pollution and risks for humans
and the environment.
This report is part of a series facilitated by UNEP DTIE as a contribution to the World Summit on
Sustainable Development. UNEP DTIE provided a report outline based on Agenda 21 to interested
industrial sectors and co-ordinated a consultation process with relevant stakeholders. In turn,
participating industry sectors committed themselves to producing an honest account of performance
against sustainability goals.
The full set of reports is available from UNEP DTIE’s web site (http://www.uneptie.org/wssd/), which
gives further details on the process and the organisations that made it possible.The following is a list of
related outputs from this process, all of which are available from UNEP both in electronic version and
hardcopy:
- industry sectoral reports, including
• accounting
• consulting engineering
• advertising
• electricity
• aluminium
• fertilizer
• automotive
• finance and insurance
• aviation
• food and drink
• chemicals
• information and
• coal
communications technology
• construction
• iron and steel







oil and gas
railways
refrigeration
road transport
tourism
waste management
water management

- a compilation of executive summaries of the industry sectoral reports above;
- an overview report by UNEP DTIE;
- a CD-ROM including all of the above documents.
UNEP DTIE is also contributing the following additional products:
- a joint WBCSD/WRI/UNEP publication entitled Tomorrow’s Markets: Global Trends and Their
Implications for Business, presenting the imperative for sustainable business practices;
- a joint WB/UNEP report on innovative finance for sustainability, which highlights new and effective
financial mechanisms to address pressing environmental, social and developmental issues;
- two extraordinary issues of UNEP DTIE’s quarterly Industry and Environment review, addressing key
regional industry issues and the broader sustainable development agenda.
More generally, UNEP will be contributing to the World Summit on Sustainable Development with
various other products, including:
- the Global Environmental Outlook 3 (GEO 3), UNEP’s third state of the environment assessment
report;
- a special issue of UNEP’s Our Planet magazine for World Environment Day, with a focus on the
International Year of Mountains;
- the UNEP photobook Focus on Your World, with the best images from the Third International
Photographic Competition on the Environment.

Sustainability profile of the Iron and Steel industry
• Achievements
- Dramatically reduced releases to the environment from steel manufacturing operations, including a reduction of air
emissions by up to 80% over the last 20 years.
- Introduced new production technologies and steel products to meet demanding applications, including advanced
lightweight steel automobiles, that contribute to a more sustainable society.

• Unfinished business
- Continued improvement in steel production technologies and development of new products and services to meet
evolving societal needs.
- Continued integration of economic, environmental, and social sustainability throughout the world steel industry.

• Future challenges and possible commitments
- Operation of the world steel industry in an increasingly globalised economy, particularly the economic success of
companies.
- Social change, including employment and community development, as the world steel industry transforms.

For further information contact:
International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI)
Rue Colonel Bourg, 120
B-1140 Brussels
Belgium
Tel:
+32 2 702 8900
Fax:
+32 2 702 8899
E-mail:
info@iisi.be
Web site: http://www.worldsteel.org

United Nations Environment Programme
Division of Technology, Industry and Economics
39-43 Quai André Citroën
75739 Paris Cedex 15
France
Tel:
+33 1 44 37 14 50
Fax:
+33 1 44 37 14 74
E-mail:
wssd@unep.fr
Web site: http://www.uneptie.org/wssd/

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